Grammy Award winning singer-songwriter-musician Alicia Keys is a woman we all know, but certainly not the first woman at the top of the mentors list when it comes to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). So we were impressed to hear that the R&B songstress is lending the power of her moving voice to inspire young women not in matters of the heart for a change, but in matters of the mind – these important fields of study – through a scholarship initiative created in partnership with BlackBerry.
The BlackBerry Scholars Program, one of Alicia’s first undertakings as BlackBerry’s Global Creative Director (there’s the connection), is designed to encourage women to enter careers in STEM, which will shape the future of technology and mobile computing. The program will provide full, four-year tuition scholarships to outstanding women globally who are seeking degrees at accredited colleges and universities in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math with a particular interest or aptitude in the area of mobile computing.
In speaking about the program, Alicia shared, “Women are underrepresented in fields of science and tech, and we feel strongly that it’s time to support a change.” She added, “It’s important to connect the dots for young women in high school and college and show them that careers in science and technology are within their reach. And when women do land these jobs, it’s vital they receive the tools and support they need to advance in their careers.”
In addition to providing full, four-year course tuition, BlackBerry will also offer mentorship and professional opportunities for each of the scholars.
So who is eligible for this scholarship? Women around the world entering their first year of study in the 2013-2014 academic year of four-year degree programs in accredited colleges and universities in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. A panel of inspirational and accomplished women, led by Alicia Keys, will select the BlackBerry scholars from the pool of applicants, awarding scholarships based on academic merit and passion for entering the mobile computing industry.
The deadline to apply for the BlackBerry Scholars Program is 5pm EST on June 26th, 2013. Award recipients will be notified on or before July 31, 2013.
“This is more than just a scholarship, this is the beginning of a powerful network of women.”
Look… while we all know this is a get ’em while their young marketing ploy at its core – “This scholarship program is the first step in BlackBerry’s long-term commitment and multi-tiered strategy to engage young women at every step of their education from high school to college, and as they rise through the workforce.” – we think it’s an excellent program and applaud Alicia for using her fantastical BlackBerry title for a cerebral call-to-action that helps to further the conversation about women and STEM.
The multi-platinum recording artist, known for her philanthropy, summed up the program in this very, dare we say, WYSKy way, “This is more than just a scholarship, this is the beginning of a powerful network of women.” How can we not LOVE that? Kind of makes us want to sing, “This girl is on fire!”
If you know a young woman who could be a future innovator in technology or mobile computing, share this opportunity with her.