DeKalb, IL — To ease the tuition burden of nearly a dozen students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities, a former Morehouse College student kicked off Black History Month by providing $10,000 scholarships to the students.
Bryce Thompson, an entrepreneur, investor and philanthropist, founded the IAMS Foundation and partnered with the Scholly app to provide $100,000 in scholarships for HBCU students in need.
The scholarship search launched last fall with the mission of helping college students financially amid the negative impacts of a global pandemic, racial violence and skyrocketing unemployment.
Ten students were selected from hundreds of applicants. Thompson awarded their scholarships with a surprise hometown visit.
Scholarship winners hail from Morehouse College, Texas Southern University, Bethune-Cooke University, Livingstone College, Philander Smith College, Prairie View A&M University, Hampton University and Howard University.
Thompson was once a struggling college student himself and vowed to one day give back to students facing financial challenges after his uncle generously paid for his first year of tuition.
"I know what it feels like to not know whether you're going to be able to register for the next semester," said the 24-year-old. "So, to now be in a position to ensure that at least 10 students will be able further their education is an incredible blessing and honor.”
At Morehouse he studied engineering and later created the TradeHouse Investment Group with a few students. The goal was to teach financial literacy through investment strategies and to provide a platform that offers economic and social advancement to traditionally disenfranchised communities.
"I am a testament to how giving back can change the trajectory of one's life," Thompson said. "If it were not for my uncle's generosity, I wouldn't have been able to attend Morehouse and develop a network of like-minded individuals who would go on to become my business partners. Investing in my community will always be one of the smartest, most valuable business decisions I'll ever make."