It all started with the vision of Attorney Thurgood Marshall, the first African American Associate Justice in the US Supreme Court. He believed that bright young men and women should have a chance to develop and help their communities and the world in general.
Beginnings were hard, as they are in most anything that goes against routine and belief. Cheyney University was the first that joined him in the effort and during the next twenty two years, many more have stepped forward to provide equal educational opportunities for African Americans. Today the Fund is producing attorneys, doctors, business administrators and many other professionals every year. These are young men and women who have gone out into the world to serve as positive examples for the generations coming behind them.
From its headquarters in New York, the Fund has spent more than one hundred million US Dollars in preparing and educating African American men and women of all walks of life. Included in the ranks of those who have taken advantage of these scholarships over the years we find celebrities like, Oprah Winfrey, Ed Bradley from “60 Minutes”, Reverend Jesse Jackson, and the athlete Jerry Rice. They are all examples of what a person can do with a little help to realize and make a dream come true.
Access to the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund is available to any African American with the desire to do great things in his or her life. A 3.0 average is required to enter the program and it must be maintained permanently. Even though this may seem hard to accomplish the truth is that 98% of the recipients of the scholarships graduate and go on to work and 55% of these continue their studies into graduate schools. They do not only give you money to study, they make sure that you take advantage of the opportunity.
The Fund prides itself in keeping a close eye on its beneficiaries, not only while they are in school but after that too. Job seminars and opportunities are opened and offered to them even while they are in school so they can start practicing what they learn. This fund has come to serve and prepare many African Americans for the challenges of the new millennium and they have accepted the challenge joining others to benefit their country and the world.