The Walt Disney Company and UNCF (the United Negro College Fund) announced today the 2023 Disney UNCF Corporate Scholars, who come from four-year colleges around the country, including numerous Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).
The 2023 scholars will receive annual scholarships, and several have sought for and been placed in paid internships at Disney for the summer. The scholarship beneficiaries include juniors and seniors pursuing degrees in business, communications, creative writing, journalism, film/media, and science. They will also be mentored and considered for possible full-time positions with Disney after graduation.
The Disney UNCF Corporate Scholars program is part of the Disney Future Storytellers initiative and builds on Disney’s long history of assisting aspiring storytellers and innovators in conjunction with UNCF. Scholarships, mentorship, internship opportunities, professional development, and career exploration seminars are all part of Disney’s support for UNCF scholars. Disney routinely sponsors guest speakers for UNCF events and invites UNCF scholars and employees to advanced screenings of Disney films in an effort to inspire future storytellers.
A series of FX-supported college scholarships inside the Disney UNCF Corporate Scholars program were just revealed with this year’s cohort. These new scholarships will pay tribute to acclaimed director and producer John Singleton’s career. John’s association with FX began in 2016 when he was nominated for an Emmy® Award for the award-winning and critically acclaimed smash limited series The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story. He then co-created and executive produced FX’s critically acclaimed smash drama series Snowfall. Singleton is the youngest and first Black person to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Director. As part of the Disney UNCF Corporate Scholars program, these scholarships are intended to promote and empower the next generation of Black artists who will follow in John’s footsteps.
Andscape’s Rhoden Fellows will join the Disney UNCF Corporate Scholars program for the first time. Andscape editor-at-large and former New York Times award-winning columnist William C. Rhoden developed and directs Rhoden Fellows, a training program for the next generation of HBCU sports journalists. The one-year fellowship aims to foster fresh voices and act as a training ground for future multicultural journalists. Scholars will be awarded scholarships and will work as summer interns at Andscape.
“We are delighted to welcome the seventh cohort of Rhoden Fellows!” “They reflect the future of journalism and Andscape’s vision,” Raina Kelley, vice president and editor-in-chief of Andscape, stated. “We value their diverse experiences and insatiable curiosity.” We look forward to fostering them and giving them a platform to shine even brighter.”
In addition, the National Geographic Content HBCU Scholarship program will be absorbed into the Disney UNCF Corporate Scholars program in the future. National Geographic’s program has provided scholars with real-world experience to enable them obtain access and exposure to the factual entertainment industry since 2021. Scholars receive scholarship support, participate in a multi-day immersive experience on the National Geographic campus in Washington, D.C., and are paired with a National Geographic executive for a six-month mentorship program.
“At National Geographic, the power, influence, and reach that our stories have around the world is unparalleled,” said Karen Greenfield, senior vice president, Content, Diversity & Inclusion. “We want to make certain that the stories we tell are not only impactful and relevant, but also authentic, diverse, and representative of our global community.”