A young man studying


The African American Leadership Society (AALS) STEM Scholarship Program has established a pipeline of Black students from South Hampton Roads who, at the university level, major in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) and aim to become leaders in their field. To date, we have awarded 375 local students with STEM scholarships totaling $1.6 million in scholarship funds to support both the education of our STEM scholars and our mission to reduce the pronounced racial and gender gaps that envelope the STEM spectrum in our Tidewater cities.


By providing both financial assistance for their collegiate studies and career mentorship from STEM professionals, our scholarship program is a vehicle through which our Tidewater cities can directly reap the benefits of a robust and inclusive think-tank of clinical, medical, intellectual and technological cohorts. The scholarship opportunity is available to qualified high school seniors, currently enrolled college students and veterans entering college as first-time freshmen in the Fall of 2024. Each selected STEM Scholar will receive up to $10,000 to use toward their tuition. Intentionally, women will account for at least 50% of the scholarship recipients, and 25% of awards will be designated to first-generation college students.
Community Leaders presenting to an office


  • In Hampton Roads, only 5% of the STEM jobs that require a college education are filled by African Americans, a number 30% lower than the national average - despite Hampton Roads having a Black population that is 53% higher than the national average.
  • Among the Black population, women earn 68% of all college degrees awarded – but only 22% of degrees in computer science, engineering and mathematics.
  • 27% of African American college freshmen are first-generation college students; 46% of those come from low-income families.


  • Be African American.
  • Be a resident of Hampton Roads (Chesapeake, Franklin, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Poquoson, Portsmouth, Smithfield, Suffolk, Virginia Beach or Williamsburg).
  • Have a current high school or college GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  • Demonstrate preparedness and commitment to pursuing a degree in the STEM sciences.
  • Plan to be enrolled as a college student majoring in a STEM field in the upcoming academic year.
  • Complete the online STEM application prior to the application deadline.
  • Qualified high school seniors and currently-enrolled college students are eligible for STEM Scholarship consideration.
  • Each STEM Scholarship recipient can receive up to $10,000 for their college tuition and fees.
  • Each STEM Scholar receives mentorship from a local STEM professional.
  • STEM Scholars are introduced to the African American Leadership Society, a collective of mostly Black philanthropists and professionals who address issues identified as important by, and to, those in Black communities and the AALS network.

  • October 1: Portal opens for application submissions
  • November – December: Virtual interviews with applicants
  • January: Awards announced

Donate to the STEM Scholarship

For questions or assistance, please email
This program is led by United Way of South Hampton Roads’ African American Leadership Society, a group of over 250 professionals passionate about empowering African American communities and improving social equity in the 757. Partners include UNCF and Access College Foundation, and funding is provided by a generous grant from USAA.

Forms & Documents