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Representatives of The Future of STEM Scholars Initiative (FOSSI) have announced that the program is more than halfway towards meeting its goal of supporting 1000 scholars through 2025.

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The Future of STEM Scholars Initiative was founded in 2020 by the American Chemistry Council, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), The Chemours Company, and the HBCU Week Foundation.

The announcement was made during the HBCU Week at Disney World, hosted by FOSSI’s founding partner, The HBCU Week Foundation.

To date, the program has raised funding for 550 scholarships at an investment approaching $30 million, helping to develop a new, more inclusive generation of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) talent.

Through partnerships with chemical manufacturers and stakeholders, FOSSI provides $40,000 in scholarships to students studying science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) degrees at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

The program also offers leadership development, mentorship and internship opportunities, and a one-to-one match with one of 60 sponsors committed to helping scholars achieve their goals. FOSSI Chairman, Mark Vergnano, former CEO of The Chemours Company, noted the historic nature of the program.

“Never before has our industry come together to make such a significant, meaningful impact on the lives of historically under-represented students. This simply would not be possible without the support of our Corporate Sponsors. We are incredibly proud of this achievement and look forward to building and growing FOSSI in continued partnership with the HBCU Week Foundation.”

To help meet this important milestone, more than 20 organizations signed on to support future FOSSI classes, providing a strong foundation for FOSSI and its students in the future. These include:

A C& S, Incorporated
The American Chemistry Council
BASF Corporation
Cabot Corporation
The Chemours Company LLC
Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LLC
Kraton Corporation
Merck & Co., Inc.
PPG Industries, Inc.
Sasol (USA) Corporation
The Shepherd Chemical Company
Solvay America, Inc.
W.R. Grace & Co.

Founder and CEO of the HBCU Week Foundation, Ashley Christopher, spoke about the value FOSSI provides in driving students to pursue STEM at HBCUs across the county.

“FOSSI has created a model for partnerships which enable students to pursue their dream of attending an HBCU with less financial burden. Importantly, by providing training and support from mentors at Corporate Sponsors, it can also help to increase the number of students that graduate from HBCUs.”

Applications can be submitted at www.FutureOfSTEMScholars.org/apply. The deadline to apply is January 31.

FOSSI is a national chemical industry-wide program that provides scholarships to students pursuing degrees in relevant science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), helping to eliminate financial barriers for historically under-represented groups.

Sponsored by chemical manufacturers and related industry stakeholders, FOSSI provides scholarship recipients $10,000 per year for four years and connects these students to leadership development, mentoring, and internship opportunities at participating companies. Learn more at FutureofSTEMscholars.org

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