Golden Door Scholars, a nonprofit organization based in the greater Charlotte area that awards large college scholarships to high performing undocumented students with DACA status, announced that it is now accepting applications for DACA students across the country who wish to study Computer Science, Tech, Engineering, Math, or a related field. In addition to financial support, Golden Door provides one-on-one mentorship and tech and data science internships for students majoring in computer science and related fields.
Started in 2012 with a focus on undocumented students from the Carolinas (see: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2012/10/17/ceo-offering-full-college-scholarships-for-undocumented-immigrants-partners.html), Golden Door Scholars currently supports 214 students at competitive schools such as Tufts University, Meredith College, Wake Forest University, and many others. The program’s 41 graduates are working at companies such as Wells Fargo, Duke University Hospital, Apple, Oracle, and Novant Health, and some are pursuing doctoral degrees and masters. 99% of their scholars stayed in school with an average 3.5 GPA.
This follows an expansion of the program in December of 2017, which included an additional 100 scholarships (see: https://www.redventures.com/media/nonprofit-announces-100-full-scholarships-for-undocumented-students.html). This year, the organization is expanding the applicant pool nationwide but focusing only on students interested in the science and tech fields.
“Focusing on technology enables us to support DACA students in a fast-growing field with great job opportunities while also tackling the challenges our country faces around diversity in STEM fields,” said Ric Elias, the organization’s founder and CEO of Red Ventures, a portfolio of digital companies based in the Charlotte area.
While there is no federal law that prohibits the admission of undocumented immigrants to U.S. colleges, there are certainly obstacles that stand in the way of these students’ path to higher education. An estimated 65,000 undocumented students will graduate from high school this year, but none of them can apply for financial aid. Because of this, less than 10% of undocumented high school graduates will attend college, and 30% of these students will live below the poverty line. Providing opportunity to this group creates a much needed bridge to address equity and economic mobility in communities across the US.
“Our persistence rate is 99%, and of the 41 scholars who have graduated through our program, all are now employed by top companies, supporting their families, and contributing to their communities and the economy. They are an inspiration to me, and proof that supporting these students is not only the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do for our country.”
Interested students should review eligibility guidelines and apply at www.goldendoorscholars.org by October 25th, 2018.
About Golden Door Scholars
Golden Door Scholars is a nonprofit founded in 2012 to invest in education and career access for high-performing DACA students. GDS currently supports 214 students enrolled in college and an additional 41 scholars who have earned their degrees and are in graduate programs or working in highly technical roles at companies including Samsung, Oracle, and Red Ventures. Learn more at www.goldendoorscholars.org.
About Ric Elias
Ric Elias is the CEO and co-founder of Red Ventures and the founder of four nonprofit organizations; Golden Door Scholars, Rebuild Puerto Rico, LifeSports, and Road to Hire. Elias was a survivor of Flight 1549, an event which led to his widely-viewed TED Talk “3 things I learned while my plane crashed.” Learn more at https://www.redventures.com/leadership.html