Unlike their counterparts, student loan debt weighs more heavily on students of color, which can often present barriers for things like applying for unpaid internships or frequenting professional events. An estimated 86.8 percent of black students borrow federal student loans to attend four-year public colleges, as opposed to 59.9 percent of white students, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Hennessy Fellows seeks to offset these financial burdens— focusing on graduate-level candidates who don’t have as many financial assistance opportunities— with an investment designed to maximize students' full potential across educational, professional and personal pursuits.
Over the next decade, Hennessy and TMCF will continue to provide the tools, knowledge, and insight necessary to change the trajectory of minorities in Corporate America. And together, our organizations have the unprecedented opportunity to diversify the talent landscape and make an immeasurable impact.
Harry L. Williams is the president and CEO of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, the largest organization exclusively representing the black college community. Before joining TMCF, he spent eight years as president of Delaware State University. Follow him on Twitter at @DrHLWilliams. In his role as Senior Vice President, Giles Woodyer brings unparalleled expertise in distilled spirits to Moët Hennessy USA, where he manages the portfolio for Hennessy, the world’s best-selling cognac.