Travis Scott's Cactus Jack Foundation awarded $1 million to 100 Black college students to ensure they graduate this year.
Scott's Waymon Webster Scholarships, now in their second year, ensures Black students experiencing last-minute financial pressures graduated on time from college – a foundational component of Scott's Project HEAL Effort, announced earlier this year.
Family Effort: The scholarship is named for Travis Scott's grandfather, Waymon Webster, an HBCU educator, and spearheaded by Scott's sister, Jordan Webster – who graduated from Howard University herself this past week, according to a press release.
Scott's Cactus Jack Foundation announced that it has awarded $1 million in scholarships for students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to 100 members of the graduating class of 2022.
With Scott's support, the Waymon Webster Scholarship Fund granted $10,000 scholarships each to seniors who have reached academic excellence (averaging 3.5 or higher GPA) but have faced the all-too-common last-minute challenge of financial adversity in the second semester of their senior year.
The scholarships will bring 100 students over the finish line, diploma in hand. This is the second year that Scott has supported HBCUs and represents a tenfold increase.
The scholarship is named after Waymon Webster to honor his lifetime of dedication to academic excellence for Black students. This year's recipients include graduating seniors from 38 HBCUs, including Alabama A&M University, Central State University, Florida A&M University, Jackson State University, Morehouse College, Texas Southern University, Grambling State University, Xavier University of Louisiana, and Prairie View A&M University – Scott’s grandfather's alma mater where he also served as an educator.
Standout recipients include:
1. Nisha Encarnacion, a graduate from Florida A&M University from St. Croix, US Virgin Islands, received a degree in Pharmacy. While supporting her mother and caring for her daughter throughout college, Nisha paid her own way to achieve her dream. View her thank you here.
2. Chisom Okwor, a computer science graduate from Fisk University passionate about the technology industry, specifically the inclusive and improvement of representation in the tech space. Chisom's goal is to use technology to transform developing countries in Africa. View her thank you here.
3. Jordan Massey, a mass communications graduate with a concentration in broadcast journalism from North Carolina Central University, has incurred personal debt to achieve his goal of graduating college and entering the field of communications. View his thank you here.
Travis Scott said: "Excellence abounds in every Black household, but too often opportunity does not – and Black students are left behind or counted out. So that's what my family and I set out to change. We congratulate all 100 scholarship recipients this year. I know we will see great things from them – and we are already looking forward to increasing our work next year."
Jordan Webster, Project Manager for the Cactus Jack Foundation's Waymon Webster Scholarship Fund, a recent Howard University graduate, and sister to Travis Scott, said: "Last week, I received my own diploma from Howard University. I know personally how deeply important my grandfather's academic legacy at HBCUs is to my entire family – to Travis, as well as my twin brother Josh who is at Prairie View A&M University – and now, to 100 people that Travis has been able to help out at a tough time. It means the world to me to be able to work with my brother as he creates hope and makes a real difference for our peers and their families."
Marc Morial, President and CEO of the National Urban League, said: "Black students are less than half as likely to graduate from college as white students, and financial pressure is the primary reason. We applaud Travis Scott and the Cactus Jack Foundation for investing in the next generation and congratulate the 100 Waymon Webster Scholarship recipients on their graduation."
Daniel Moss, Executive Director of the HBCU Foundation, said: "In a warm and tremendously thoughtful gesture, Mr. Scott has made a lifelong impact on the 100 Waymon Webster Scholarship recipients. To have now eased, even slightly, the financial burden on these deserving HBCU graduates, Mr. Scott has set into motion a kind of investment that will pay infinite dividends into our communities for decades to come."
Source: Press release