Ally Financial on Feb.23 committed more than $250,000 to support legal and public policy scholarships through its partnership with the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF).
Ally’s decision to partner with CBCF, a nonprofit which focuses on advancing the global Black community through education, was a “no brainer,” Chief Diversity Officer Reggie Willis told Auto Finance News, noting Ally works with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund to offer scholarships to foster entrepreneurship at Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
“One of the things we found [through our other scholarship programs] was that we didn’t have a lane into the legal field, but we know that there’s a need for access and a need for pipelining young Black students into the field of law. That’s what really drew us to this program.”
The CBCF program is now in its second year, and this year Ally will sponsor six scholarships, including four law school scholarships and two public policy scholarships. The law school scholarships total up to $20,000 per year and are renewable for up to three years, while the public policy scholarships are $10,000 and are non-renewable.
“The scholarships take a lot of the [financial] burden off of our students,” Natasha Campbell, associate general counsel and senior director at Ally, told AFN.
In addition to monetary support, Ally also offers mentorship opportunities to the scholars, Campbell said. The mentorship program allows Ally “to connect students with people who have a shared experience with them … giving them not only access to the opportunity but access to the people that can offer their life experiences from a viewpoint you can relate to, and that’s critically important,” she said.
Mentoring gives students insight into the legal profession early on in their educational career and enables them to “choose a profession that they love,” Campbell added.
The partnership between Ally and CBCF supports Ally’s long-term investment in its diversity, equity and inclusion operations, including its efforts to partner with organizations that will sustain their goals, Willis said.
CBCF heads the application, decisioning and recommendation process for the program, Campbell noted. This year’s applicants have through April 30, 2022, to apply for the scholarships.
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