TORONTO, Ontario (Friday, October 2, 2020) – The Black Business and Professional Association’s (BBPA) National Scholarship Program announced, today, that 86 Black students, across Canada, will receive the organisation’s national scholarships this year.
The National Scholarship Program — formerly named “the BBPA Harry Jerome Scholarship Fund” — was established by the BBPA, in 1986, and has, for the past 34 years, provided financial assistance to Black students, enrolled in post-secondary programs.
President of the BBPA, Nadine Spencer, commented: “The BBPA continues to be inspired by the sheer hard work and incredible talent of our scholarship recipients. We had over 1500 applications come through, and while we wish we were able to award all of them scholarships, these recipients represent a light of hope to our community.
“They inspire us to continue to shape a positive narrative that the world can hear and appreciate so we can do more for our community. It is our utmost pleasure as the BBPA, together with our outstanding sponsors, to demonstrate our commitment to their success.”
Scholarship applications increased by about 300 percent this year, and the selection process was highly competitive. The 23-person panel of judges conducted an efficient review process, over several weeks, to permit timely notification to awardees at the start of their school year.
Recipients were carefully selected, based on academic excellence, demonstrated financial need, and recognized contributions to their communities. The 86 scholarships being awarded this year represents a 78 percent increase over last year.
“I offer my sincere congratulations and best wishes to all of the outstanding Black students across Canada who were awarded BBPA National Scholarships this year. Your hard work and commitment to academic excellence serves as an inspiration to all of us,” remarked Ontario’s Minister of Education, Stephen Lecce.
“The Black Business and Professional Association deserves our thanks and support for improving the lives of so many talented young people.”
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the BBPA’s commitment to keeping members and allies of the community safe, the award ceremony will be hosted virtually, by live-stream, this year, on Friday, October 9, at 10:00 a.m.
The BBPA’s National Scholarships are made possible through the contribution of committed sponsors and donors. Since the scholarship fund began, over 1500 post-secondary students from the Black community, nationwide, have been awarded $4.5 Million in scholarships.
According to Edmund DelSol, Chair of the BBPA National Scholarship Program: “It has been extremely rewarding experience to see, that even in this economically-challenging period, our corporate sponsors have stayed true to their commitment to promote greater social advancement and equity through more educational opportunity.
We have been able to more than double our awards over last year. Our community support has been excellent too, with an expanded and stellar cast of judges, plus organizational support, who made it possible to process our largest number of applicants ever.”