The United Negro College Fund (UNCF) has launched a scholarship program in commemoration of the bicentennial of the birth of Frederick Douglass that will be in place for the next 20 years, through 2039. The program will award a $10,000 scholarship to one exceptional HBCU senior per year who has demonstrated high academic achievement, strong leadership skills, commitment to their community, and has unmet financial need.
The new scholarship program was established by Tony Signore who has admired Douglass since he attended Fordham University more than 35 years ago. “It’s an incredible honor and privilege for our family to celebrate the life of a true American hero,” said Signore. “On the 200th anniversary of his birth, it is with great reverence that we reflect upon the legacy of a great man and leader who had such a profound impact on our nation’s history. We also understand the importance and responsibility of supporting HBCU scholars who demonstrate their passion for education.”
Frederick Douglass was born into slavery in Talbot County, Maryland, in 1818. He escaped slavery at the age of 20 and dedicated his like to the abolitionist movement. He wrote three autobiographies; his first book Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave was named one of the “88 Books that Shaped America” by the Library of Congress.
“The narrative of Douglass’s life is the foundation upon which many of us owe our path to a quality education,” said Michael L. Lomax, President and CEO of the UNCF. “Paying homage to this great pioneer through The Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Scholarship Program is not only admirable but speaks on the responsibility we all have in paving a road for the next generation of leaders.”
The application will be available on the UNCF’s website.