Tuskegee University sophomore Ayan Robinson of Atlanta is among the 18 students receiving scholarships funded by actor and comedian Kevin Hart through his charity, “Help from the Hart.” The scholarships are awarded through a partnership between Hart, UNCF (the United Negro College Fund) and the Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP).
Robinson, who is majoring in engineering, and the other 17 scholarship recipients are graduates of KIPP schools — a national network of 224 public charter schools dedicated to preparing students in educationally underserved communities for success in college and life. KIPP matched Hart’s $300,000 contribution, thereby making $600,000 in total scholarship funding available to KIPP alumni from eight different cities who are now attending 11 historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).
"Education and knowledge are powerful,” Hart said. “I just wanted to do my part in providing opportunities for our future leaders, especially from my Philly hometown, and show support for HBCUs. This is just the beginning — trust me when I tell you there are a lot more kids who want to go to college who don’t have the money to make it happen.”
UNCF is the largest provider of college scholarships for students of color in the U.S., awarding more than $100 million in college scholarships annually to deserving students. The 18 “Help From The Hart Charity Scholarship” recipients were selected based on their academic and personal accomplishments, as well as demonstrated financial need. Recipients are eligible for scholarship renewals based on their continued eligibility and the amount of time remaining in their undergraduate studies.
“The ‘Help from the Hart Charity Scholarship’ will not only support students, but will also demonstrate support for HBCUs,” said UNCF CEO and President Michael L. Lomax. “Research shows that HBCUs matter, and that HBCU students are having a positive college experience, but they also have an unmet financial need. Together, Kevin and KIPP have made an investment that will have a significant impact. We can’t thank them enough for their support, and we want to congratulate these 18 students for keeping their eyes on their goal of a college education.”
Hart’s gift to fund this new scholarship program puts him in line with many other renowned celebrities who have supported UNCF over the years.
“Giving back to build better futures is the name of the game, and we hope that others like Kevin will understand why educational investments are so important, especially now, and step up to help more deserving students,” Lomax said.
“Nothing brings me greater joy than to see the hard work of these 18 KIPP students recognized by Kevin Hart and UNCF through this generous scholarship program,” said John Fisher, chair of the KIPP Foundation Board of Directors. “Michael Lomax has been a longtime KIPP supporter and friend, and a tireless champion for young people. We are incredibly grateful to both UNCF and Kevin Hart for their partnership and support to help our students thrive in college and achieve their dreams.”
Lomax added, “Over the last decade, UNCF has been building a relationship with the KIPP public school network, and we are so excited that KIPP’s board of directors and their chairman, John Fisher, are behind this outstanding new venture. There are more than 1,300 KIPPsters currently enrolled at HBCUs, and together, we are bringing resources and shining a spotlight on these students who are doing all they can to get a college education. This unique partnership will help UNCF continue to bridge the gap from high school success to college achievement and enables UNCF to help more students get to and through college.”
For more information about the Help from the Hart Charity Scholarship and its recipients, visit https://www.uncf.org/news/entry/kevin-harts-help-from-the-hart-charity-launches-a-new-600k-scholarship-prog.
© 2018, Tuskegee University
UNCF (United Negro College Fund) is the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization. To serve youth, the community and the nation, UNCF supports students’ education and development through scholarships and other programs, strengthens its 37 member colleges and universities, and advocates for the importance of minority education and college readiness. UNCF institutions and other historically black colleges and universities are highly effective, awarding nearly 20 percent of African-American baccalaureate degrees. UNCF awards more than $100 million in scholarships annually and administers more than 400 programs, including scholarship, internship and fellowship, mentoring, summer enrichment, and curriculum and faculty development programs. Today, UNCF supports more than 60,000 students at more than 1,100 colleges and universities across the country. Its logo features the UNCF torch of leadership in education and its widely recognized motto, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”® Learn more at UNCF.org.
About KIPP Public Schools:
KIPP, the Knowledge Is Power Program, is a national network of 224 public charter schools dedicated to preparing students in educationally underserved communities for success in college and life. KIPP schools are part of the free public school system and enrollment is open to all students. Started in 1994 as a middle school program, KIPP has since expanded to enroll 96,000 students in all grades from pre-K through high school. Nationwide, KIPP students complete four-year college at a rate of 36 percent, comparable to the national average for all students and approximately three times higher than the average for students from low-income families. Learn more at www.kipp.org.