Season of Giving Helps TMCF Close The Equity Gap & Provide Pathways To Prosperity

WASHINGTON, D.C., Nov. 28, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Brent Thigpen is a portrait of resilience. 

The University of District of Columbia’s senior unbreakable determination mirrors that of many of the students Thurgood Marshall College Fund has impacted since 1987. Thigpen shared his heartfelt testimony during the “Leaders and Legends” Gala in September.


“In 2017, the fire of adversity created unbreakable determination within me,” shared Thigpen, a member of Alpha Phi Alpha – the same fraternity that Justice Thurgood Marshall belongs to. “Losing my mother to the clutches of mental health and suicide was a staggering blow. Still, it ignited a commitment to uphold her legacy—and a promise to be a pillar in my family. The power of education has shaped my life.” 

With education at the core of the nation’s promise of opportunity, TMCF has made dreams a reality for the 300,000 students at the 47 publicly supported Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and six Historically Black Community Colleges (HBCC) it has served since 1987. Those dreams have been realized because of generous philanthropic efforts from the public and TMCF supporters. 

While much has been raised and dispersed, more is always needed as Giving November approaches. Over 70 percent of public HBCU students are low income, many of whom are the first in their families to attend college. Donations can support TMCF’s vision by changing the world, one leader at a time. For every $1that TMCF invests in education, another $20 is needed to support more students and TMCF’s member schools. CLICK HERE TO DONATE

“TMCF has been a guiding light of experiences I once thought was beyond my reach that has surely fueled me to excel,” Thigpen said. “Through TMCF, I secured an internship with Boeing—an opportunity that opened my eyes to a world of possibilities. This past summer, I interned with Kiewit Construction, further broadening my horizons. Through my sophomore to senior years, TMCF has granted me scholarships totaling over $25,000; my final year in college has been debt-free.”

The generosity of donors plays a critical role in enabling TMCF to continue Justice Thurgood Marshall’s fight and help provide access to education, economic mobility, and lucrative careers for the next generation of Black students. Providing resources to position Black students for success now and in the future, TMCF advances racial equity and social justice by ensuring they can access high-quality education and life-changing career opportunities they need to enter but succeed in corporate America today. 

By supporting TMCF, donors are making a significant impact and helping to equip the next generation of Black students to achieve their professional ambitions and be game changers in the world.

TMCF distributes 98 percent of its awards exclusively to HBCUs and predominately Black institutions, helping bridge the racial wealth gap and reduce debt for low-income Black students who already disproportionately shoulder the strain of student borrowing. By easing financial stress, students can concentrate on essential career development opportunities such as internships, job shadowing, and mentorship programs while in school instead of working to cover their educational costs. 

“Being a first-born immigrant, the path to college was filled with uncertainty,” Olasubomi Olawepo of Alabama A&M said. “I had to navigate the challenges with the help of some angels. Initially unsure about funding my education, TMCF’s pitch competition became a turning point. Winning funds from these competitions and scholarships and immersion programs covered my entire college tuition. TMCF not only eased the financial burden but also allowed me to focus on my studies without the constant worry of debt.”

Purpose and family.

These are two words that matter to Fayetteville State senior Iyanna Beacham. Progress for the Black community is driven by challengers who refuse to accept their world as it is. HBCUs are competitive institutions with long histories of academic excellence and influential alumni who have already made a significant societal impact globally.  

“The collaboration of resilience, fellowship, and transparency has allowed me to experience a community that showed me what I was capable of and taught me how to dream,” said Beacham following the Leadership Institute in Washington, D.C. “TMCF helps me with my future goals by exposing me to the world. Coming from a background where I am the first in my family to achieve certain milestones, TMCF has provided me with a safe space to connect with mentors, innovative students, and individuals who have been/currently are in the space I want to be in. Having my dreams and ideas confirmed by individuals who understand my background is an experience like no other. TMCF has given me the confidence to believe in myself as a young professional.”

Justice Thurgood Marshall’s fight for equity, access, and inclusion for Black students seeking higher education started in 1935 and is nowhere near finished. TMCF tirelessly works daily to level the playing field, remove barriers, and advance equity and inclusion. 

TMCF students are unique because they display persistence toward education with courage and a relentless ambition to diligently succeed in the face of many uncertainties and various obstacles. Yet, generous donors’ support changes students’ lives, allowing them to blaze trails for themselves, their families, and communities.

“My journey, started by hardship, has been illuminated by TMCF with their unwavering support,” Thigpen said. “As a graduating senior, I share these words of hope and inspiration. We are the vanguard and architects of tomorrow.”

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