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FAMU receives over $1 million in grants to help minority students

Posted at 5:27 PM, Nov 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-19 18:38:57-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Millions of dollars are on the way to Florida A&M University from two corporations hoping to help minority students on their road to success.

Within the past 24 hours, FAMU has announced receiving two grants topping out at over $1 million, money many say is direly needed as students head into a workforce during COVID-19.

Floria A&M University is receiving a $5 million grant from Dow Inc. and a $1 million grant from Bank of America aimed at helping ensure minority students get the training they need to enter the workforce.

FAMU President Dr. Larry Robinson says they'll use the money to enhance campus programs to better position students for professional job opportunities.

"Clearly, you know students in our school of business and industry will be a target of these resources, but we have students across the campus environment that will be a benefit to the Bank of America," Robinson said. "From people and cybersecurity and other sciences. All those things that they need in today's world."

It's helpful for students like Jelani James, a FAMU Robotics and Megatronics Engineering student, who are faced with the new challenge of finding a job during the pandemic.

"The process is hard," said James. "It's hard even just getting a chance and opportunity, so getting help with that is always great, especially with everything going around with COVID-19; it's just made it that much harder."

The university is getting more help for students in STEM fields.

FAMU, along with Howard, North Carolina A&T State, Prairie View A&M, and Southern University, will receive the funds as part of Dow Inc.'s commitment to addressing systemic racism and hiring inequalities.

Robinson says he's pleased with the lasting connections formed with both companies and that he looks forward to the impact both grants will have on students and the university.

"The special efforts to tap into that talent is clearly beneficial for the students and gives them a chance to go out into the world and be successful and have an impact," said Robinson. "But it also increases the nation's presence in these areas as well. So, it's much more to it than meets the eye."

The University says it will use the funds to enhance engineering, environmental science, and agriculture programs and help with student retention and recruitment.