A young man studying
Increasing opportunity for Black students and reducing the racial and gender gaps in STEM fields

STEM Scholarship Program

We’re on a mission to increase opportunity for African American students and reduce the racial and gender gaps that currently exists in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). To support Black youth and veterans pursing STEM degrees through higher education, United Way of South Hampton Roads’ African American Leadership Society created the STEM Scholarship Program funded by USAA.

Program Overview

This initiative is designed to provide scholarship and academic support for African American students and veterans who aspire to earn STEM degrees and pursue careers in the STEM field. The program enables highly capable young people and veteran adult students to pursue undergraduate STEM majors and prepares them for successful careers in a variety of STEM professions. The application is open to currently enrolled college students and high school seniors and veterans entering college as first-time freshman in the Fall of 2024. Each scholarship recipient will receive up to $10,000 to use toward their education. Females will account for 50% of scholarship recipients and 25% will be awarded to applicants who qualify as first-generation college students.
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Driven by Data

Research shows that Black youth, particularly black females, are underrepresented in STEM-related fields both at the academic and professional levels. In fact:
  • Blacks make up 11% of the U.S. workforce overall but only represent 9% of STEM workers
  • Among employed adults with a bachelor’s degree or higher, blacks are just 7% of the STEM workforce
  • Women of color account for just 2.9% of those earning bachelor’s degrees in STEM fields
  • Only 20% of undergraduates attending four-year institutions are first generation college students and 50% of those students are from low-income families

Eligibility Criteria

To qualify, applicants must:
  • Be African American
  • Be a citizen, legal permanent resident or national of the U.S.
  • Be a current resident of Hampton Roads (Chesapeake, Franklin, Hampton, Isle of Wight, Newport News, Norfolk, Poquoson, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Virginia Beach, Williamsburg)
  • Have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Have pursued a rigorous course of study in high school math and science courses, including precalculus
  • Show readiness and commitment to pursuing a STEM-related degree
  • Plan to be enrolled or currently enrolled in an accredited U.S. college during the 2024-2025 academic year as either a full or part time degree seeking student
  • Complete the scholarship application by the deadline
  • Note: Currently enrolled college STEM majors are also eligible to apply if they are residents of South Hampton Roads.
Why Apply?
  • One-time tuition scholarship with funding up to $10,000
  • Academic support and mentoring

Application Schedule
  • 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