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JAY Z’s Scholars

Shawn "JAY Z" Carter and his mother, Gloria Carter, officially started the Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation in 2003.

Elizabeth Hoyt

May 14, 2013

JAY Z’s Scholars
Is there anything this guy can’t do right? His global fame spans from his rapping, record producing, acting, writing and his superstar wife, Beyonce. As if that weren't enough, JAY Z is also a philanthropist who has started a foundation that awards students a brighter future. The opportunities are available through the Shawn Carter Foundation, a charitable organization that was officially established in 2003 by Shawn and Gloria Carter. As with most of his projects, JAY Z (Shawn Carter) goes all out to ensure that the foundation bearing his name is a success.

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Gloria Carter, also known as JAY Z's mom, was the originator of the idea. “I sat down and talked to my son and I said listen, there are a lot of urban kids whose issues are not being addressed. You have kids who do have a high GPA and a lot of them have a desire to continue their education. Let us be unique and do what no one else does. It is not just about getting into college; it is about getting through it. He said, ‘okay, let’s do it,’” she said.
What began as a foundation granting one student full college tuition in 2002, the organization has grown exponentially through the years, awarding students a total of more than $1.3 million dollars.

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His take? “Sometimes, people just need the opportunity to be great. We created the scholarship foundation to be an opening of a door; the first step in a new direction. No one should be cheated out a chance at success just because they can’t continue their education. I want to do my part so anyone that really wants it has a chance to achieve their dream,” said JAY Z. According to the foundation’s web site, the mission of the Shawn Carter Foundation “is to help individuals facing socio-economic hardships further their education at institutions of higher learning.” The foundation also offers Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation College Tours, an initiative that began in 2005. Out of the college tour applicants, more than 73 percent will be the first generation college students.

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Scholarships are awarded to all types of students, from single mothers to the previously incarcerated. The main qualification is desiring a higher education. Other qualifications are pretty lenient, too. In order to be eligible, one must be a high school or college students or be between the ages of 18-25 and have personal or socio-economic setbacks. Students chosen as Shawn Carter Scholars are given financial support from admission to graduation. The support even includes financial support for books and other college expenses, in hopes that students’ college plans remain on track if their finances are provided. Shawn Carter Scholars attend more than 100 institutions throughout the United States and more than 750 students have received awards from the foundation since it was created. Click here to learn more about scholarship opportunities with the Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation or to apply to become a Shawn Carter Scholar.

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