2024 Disney UNCF Corporate Scholars Named
Bruce Lam firstname.lastname@example.org
Today, The Walt Disney Company and UNCF (United Negro College Fund) announced the 2024 Disney UNCF Corporate Scholars, representing high-achieving students from four-year institutions across the country, including many historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs). The scholars will receive financial support, mentorship and internship opportunities.
Since 2015, Disney has worked with UNCF to provide a voice to diverse storytellers and innovators, building a pipeline of Black talent that will shape the future of the entertainment industry. In 2021, Disney created the Disney UNCF Corporate Scholars program and has since expanded it to include additional financial contributions as well as extended pathways that focus on specific fields and skills that students may be interested in.
“The Disney UNCF Corporate Scholars program continues to provide talented college students an opportunity to expand their personal and professional skills,” said Tinisha Agramonte, Senior Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer, The Walt Disney Company. “We sincerely hope this experience helps every student excel, hone their craft, and go on to achieve great success in their chosen careers.”
In 2023, Disney incorporated new and existing scholarships into the Disney UNCF Corporate Scholars program to provide a more tailored experience to students with specific interests within the industry, including journalism, film and television and factual entertainment. In conjunction with Andscape, National Geographic, and FX, students will be able to follow in the legacy of renowned storytellers and start their own journey with Disney’s global platforms. The four industry-aligned pathways include:
- The Rhoden Fellowship: Founded in 2017, this one-year sports journalism internship with Andscape focuses on training aspiring African American journalists from HBCUs. The fellowship is named after award-winning sports columnist William C. Rhoden.
- The National Geographic Content Scholarship Program: Founded in 2021, this program serves as a real-world experience to help guide, expose, and grant access to the factual entertainment industry. As part of the program, scholars will visit the Nat Geo campus in D.C. for a one-week immersive experience in June 2024.
- The FX Storytelling Legacy Scholarship: Honoring the legacy of the legendary director and producer John Singleton, these scholarships are to encourage and empower the next generation of fearless storytellers following John’s footsteps by pursuing a career in film or television production, directing, or screenwriting.
- The Walt Disney Company / UNCF Enhanced Corporate Scholars Program: Along with the opportunity to apply for internships, the program also provides professional development and mentorship during students’ academic journeys.
Scholars will be awarded a renewable annual scholarship and an opportunity to apply for paid internships at The Walt Disney Company. The scholars are rising juniors and seniors pursuing a degree related to the field of entertainment including business, communications, creative writing, journalism, film/media, and science. Additional opportunities for the UNCF scholars include mentorship, professional development, career exploration workshops, and consideration for a possible full-time role with Disney upon graduation. As a way to inspire the students and ignite their passion for storytelling, Disney also frequently provides guest speakers for UNCF events and invites UNCF scholars and staff to advanced screenings of Disney films. Several past scholars have also successfully transitioned into full-time roles within the company, starting on their own journey and building on the skills they learned during their time in the program.
Ashley Meeks from the 2021 Disney UNCF Enhanced Corporate Scholar cohort details how the program has led her to her current job as a Talent Relations Coordinator for Disney Entertainment Television. “The Walt Disney Company/UNCF Corporate Scholars program has been a transformative force in my life, infusing my professional path with a profound sense of purpose and community. Through unwavering support, mentorship, and a network that has always felt like family, the program has not only propelled my professional dreams but has left an impact that will resonate throughout my career,” said Meeks.
The Disney UNCF Corporate Scholars program is part of the Disney Future Storytellers initiative, the company’s commitment to empower the next generation of storytellers and innovators from underrepresented communities.
The 2024 Disney UNCF Corporate Scholars are:
About The Walt Disney Company
The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, is a leading diversified international family entertainment and media enterprise that includes three business segments: Entertainment, Sports and Experiences. Disney is a Dow 30 company and had annual revenue of $88.9 billion in its Fiscal Year 2023.
UNCF (United Negro College Fund) is the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization. To serve youth, the community and the nation, UNCF supports students’ education and development through scholarships and other programs, supports and strengthens its 37 member colleges and universities, and advocates for the importance of minority education and college readiness. While totaling only 3% of all colleges and universities, UNCF institutions and other Historically Black Colleges and Universities are highly effective, awarding 15% of bachelor’s degrees, 5% of master’s degrees, 10% of doctoral degrees and 19% of all STEM degrees earned by Black students in higher education. UNCF administers more than 400 programs, including scholarship, internship and fellowship, mentoring, summer enrichment, and curriculum and faculty development programs. Today, UNCF supports more than 50,000 students at over 1,100 colleges and universities across the country. Its logo features the UNCF torch of leadership in education and its widely recognized trademark, ‟A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”® Learn more at UNCF.org or for continuous updates and news, follow UNCF on Twitter at @UNCF.