Florida A&M University is one of 10 schools benefitting from the $10 million TikTok Future Health Heroes Fund to provide undergraduate and graduate scholarships for Black, Latinx and Indigenous students pursuing medical and health care careers.
FAMU and the other participating universities and colleges each will receive $1 million to help ensure students from underrepresented communities have access to educational opportunities in areas such as medicine, allied health sciences, nursing, pharmacy, pharmaceutical sciences, and public health.
“This TikTok initiative recognizes the critical importance of health care professionals in many facets of our lives,” said FAMU President Larry Robinson, Ph.D., who thanked the company for including FAMU among the 10 select institutions. “Our graduates have been on the frontlines for generations. This donation enables us to educate and train the reinforcements America needs from HBCUs to address the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic along with health and health care disparities in general.”
The 10 gifts are an investment in the future of the next generation of #healthheroes, who will reflect the diverse patchwork of American health care workers, the company said.
“Health care workers are the heroes of the global pandemic and deserving heroes within the TikTok community,” said Belinda Frazier, head of Culture and Diversity, TikTok North America. “We believe the next generation of health heroes should be reflective of the world around us and we are proud to support medical and health education programs that serve Black, Latinx, and Indigenous students.”
Shawnta Friday-Stroud, Ph.D., vice president for University Advancement at FAMU, said TikTok’s gift will make a big difference.
“We are grateful for TikTok’s “Future Health Heroes” initiative because it’s a significant investment in our students who are pursuing health careers,” said Friday-Stroud, who is also dean of the School of Business and Industry. “This gift is an exclamation point at the end of a year, 2020, when in the face of some of the most profound challenges, corporations have stepped up and recognized the importance of HBCUs and the need to support us in nurturing the immense potential we have on our campuses.”
Other institutions receiving Future Health Heroes Fund donations are Delaware State University, Laredo College, North Carolina A&T University, North Carolina Central University, South Carolina State University, University of South Dakota, Tougaloo College, Virginia Union University, and Xavier University of Louisiana.