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    Discovering her past: Element uncovers her roots through African Ancestry DNA testing Tarik Moody


Northwestern Mutual awards $500k to Milwaukee HBCU scholars

todayJune 17, 2024

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Northwestern Mutual, a leading financial services company, has announced the second cohort of its Hometown HBCU Connection Scholarship recipients, reaffirming its commitment to supporting Milwaukee-area students attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). This initiative is part of a broader pledge to invest over $500,000 in scholarships over the next five years, benefiting 36 students. In Milwaukee, where Northwestern Mutual has operated for 167 years, only nine percent of students will earn high school and college diplomas, and only 14% of high school graduates will earn a two- or four-year degree. For Black students in particular, research shows forty percent cite mental health issues, high cost, and lack of preparation as barriers faced while pursuing secondary education.

To help close the education gap, the company, through its Foundation, created the Northwestern Mutual HBCU Hometown Connection Scholarship. The scholarship seeks to provide recipients holistic support needed to succeed professionally and personally. In addition to annual grants of $7,500 in both freshman and sophomore years, company leaders will mentor students, be eligible for paid internships before their junior and senior years, and be considered for employment after graduation. The cohort of nine students will also form a peer support circle as they navigate the many firsts of college life.

The nine students selected for this year’s cohort were chosen based on their academic performance, leadership qualities, participation in school and community activities, work experience, and their statements of career and educational goals. Many of the recipients expressed a desire to attend an HBCU to learn more about themselves and to be part of a community of driven individuals. They also hope to return to Milwaukee after graduation to contribute to their community with the unique perspectives gained from their experiences. More details about the scholars and their journeys can be found on the Northwestern Mutual website.

“We formed the Hometown HBCU Connection Scholarship as an opportunity to ensure our city’s future leaders and workforce have the resources to expand their knowledge in a way that is meaningful to them,” says Steve Radke, president of Northwestern Mutual Foundation. “Our hope is these individuals will graduate and return to the great city of Milwaukee, strengthening the cumulative success of residents and businesses with their education and experiences.”

Through its Foundation, Northwestern Mutual has been championing access to education for all students – regardless of race or income status – for more than 25 years. The Hometown HBCU Connection Scholarship is one of many ways the Foundation hopes to advance quality education. You can learn more about this year’s scholarship recipients by visiting the Northwestern Mutual website.

“The role that attending a historically Black college has played in fostering community and connections within my personal and professional growth has been instrumental,” said Grady Crosby, chief sustainability and impact officer, Northwestern Mutual, and Howard University alumnus. “I’m proud to work for an employer that has a long-standing commitment to closing opportunity gaps via access to education for Milwaukee-area students and sees the unique value that graduates of HBCUs can bring to Northwestern Mutual in the future.”

Northwestern Mutual, through its Foundation, has invested more than $60 million in education in the city of Milwaukee over 25 years. To learn more about Northwestern Mutual’s philanthropic efforts and investments in the community, visit Northwestern Mutual’s Social Impact page.

Back in October of 2023, Northwestern Mutual reaffirmed its dedication to reducing the racial wealth disparity in the country by infusing an additional $75 million into its Impact Investing Fund.

The mission of the Northwestern Mutual Foundation is to improve the lives of children and families in need. The Foundation has given more than $490 million since its inception in 1992. It is designed to create a lasting impact in the communities where the company’s employees and financial representatives live and work. The Foundation accomplishes this by combining financial support, volunteerism, thought leadership, and convening community partners to deliver the best outcomes. Efforts are focused nationally on curing childhood cancer, and locally on education and neighborhoods, making Milwaukee a great destination. Visit Northwestern Mutual Foundation to learn more.


Written by: Tarik Moody

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