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Robert F. Smith, Prudential Financial Launch Program To Award $1.8M In Microgrants To HBCU Students

Robert F. Smith is backing yet another initiative that aims to support Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

The billionaire and his non-profit, Student Freedom Initiative, has teamed up with Prudential Financial to financially assist HBCU students, according to Black News. The new program, powered by the collaborative effort, is named Handling Everyday Life Problems for Students (HELPS).

“Student Freedom Initiative applauds the leadership of Prudential Financial and their support for our shared mission of eliminating barriers of access for underserved communities,” Smith said. “By enabling the launch of the HELPS Program, a vital component of our work is to address the holistic needs of HBCU students and families, Prudential’s gift will provide long-needed and often overlooked aid and support persistence of those most vulnerable in our community.”

Under the three-year pilot program, Prudential Financial is awarding $1.8 million in micro-grants to HBCU students “to accelerate economic mobility and close the financial divide, furthering Student Freedom Initiative and Prudential’s shared commitment to helping close the racial wealth gap,” according to the outlet.

“One HBCU president told us about a student who was unable to fully participate on camera for class – as required – due to a damaged computer, which ultimately impacted that student’s grades,” said executive director of Student Freedom Initiative Mark A. Brown.

HELPS will launch during the spring 2022 academic year at participating HBCUs.

News Source: AfroTech  Written Credits: Ngozi Nwanji

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