Scholarship opportunity for HBCU students News | The Community Foundation of Greater Memphis

News News

Scholarship opportunity for HBCU students


MEMPHIS, TN. (Jan. 18, 2023) — Shelby County high school graduates who need financial support to continue their education now have a shot at getting a scholarship to attend a historically Black college or university (HBCU), thanks to a $1 million scholarship fund established by the Memphis City Council. 

One hundred scholarships, totaling $500,000, ranging from $2,500 to $15,000, are available for the 2023-24 academic year to students who are graduating or have graduated from a high school located in Memphis and Shelby County and are attending or will attend an accredited HBCU. The same amount will be available for the 2024-25 academic year.

The Memphis City Council HBCU Fund was created by the Memphis City Council at the urging of City Council chairman and HBCU alumnus Martavius Jones. The Community Foundation of Greater Memphis is managing the fund. The application process opened January 17 and closes March 31. Students can apply at

The scholarship fund was created at the regular meeting of the City Council on September 16, 2021.It was funded as part of the proposal by the City of Memphis administration to use its funding from the federal government’s American Rescue Plan Recovery Act. From this proposal, the Memphis City Council allocated funding to several programs that fall within the guidelines established for the Fiscal Recovery Funds, including this scholarship fund.

A volunteer committee selected by the Community Foundation, composed of a group of community leaders who are HBCU graduates, will review all application submissions and select all recipients.

“The Memphis City Council recognizes the financial hardship that students and families experience in their efforts to pay for a college education,” said Jones. “As a graduate of an HBCU, I understand how valuable these particular institutions are for developing young people so that they are able to return to the City of Memphis and make a lasting, positive impact in their community.”

Robert M. Fockler, president of the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis, said he believes the philanthropic organization was chosen to manage the fund and make awards because of its long history administering a portfolio of scholarship funds.

“The Community Foundation is committed to advancing HBCUs and their students, demonstrated most significantly in our establishment of a $40 million endowment fund to support LeMoyne-Owen College in 2020,” said Fockler. “We are also proud of our long track record of managing scholarship funds and are excited to partner with the City Council in offering this unique opportunity that will be transformative in the lives of so many.”

Members of the volunteer committee are:

  • Linda McNeil (Chair), Senior Account Manager, Gaskill Strategies – LeMoyne-Owen College

  • Andrzej Bloomfield, OTR Site Leader, Amazon – University of Arkansas, Pine Bluff

  • John Cornes, CFO/Affiliate Broker, Braden, Braden & Braden – LeMoyne-Owen College

  • LaSheka Evans Grant, Study Project Manager, AbbVie, Inc. – Winston-Salem State University

  • Dr. Teresa Leary Handy, Assistant Professor & Lead Faculty, The University of Arizona Global Campus – Spelman College

  • Dr. LeCharle Harris, Assistant Principal, Oakshire Elementary – Jackson State University

  • Desiree Lyles-Wallace, Chief Human Resources Officer, Agape – Dillard University

  • Anthony Norris, EVP & CDO, YMCA of Memphis & the Mid-South – North Carolina Central University

  • Sam O’Bryant, Executive Director, Literacy Mid-South – Alcorn State University

  • Yvette Washington, Office Administrator, V. Alexander & Co. – Tennessee State University

Click here to learn more about the scholarship, see eligibility requirements, and apply.

The Memphis City Council acts as the Legislative Branch of City of Memphis Government. The Council is comprised of thirteen members: seven are elected from single-member districts, and six Council members are elected, three apiece, from two super districts that each cover half of the city. responsible for exercising legislative powers, approving the City’s budget and establishing the property tax rate. For more information, visit the Council website at: or call (901) 636-6786.

The mission of the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis, the region’s largest charitable grantmaker, is to strengthen our community through philanthropy. Founded in 1969, the Foundation last year allocated $138 million in grants to nonprofit organizations. The Community Foundation manages 1,200 charitable funds, with assets of $1.1 billion. Annually, it awards scholarships in 30 categories.