Fund II Foundation Grants $2 Million to GPS

    September 21, 2017 – Charlottesville, VA – The Ron Brown Scholar Program announced today it has been awarded a grant of $2 million from Fund II Foundation to expand its Guided Pathway Support Program (GPS), a free college access program that helps African-American high school students to gain admissions to top universities, and ultimately narrows the college access gap.

    “We’re thrilled to have received this generous grant from Fund II Foundation, an important partner in promoting social change for African Americans,” said Michael Mallory, president and chief executive officer of the Ron Brown Scholar Fund. “With this grant, we’ll be able to build on our tremendous success with the program, and to continue to prepare African-American students for success before, during and after college.”

    Launched in the fall of 2016 and available to African-American high school juniors, seniors, and their parents, GPS makes the college process more successful by providing these students with the mentorship, tools and resources needed to prepare for, apply for, persist in, and graduate from college. Resources provided through the program include:

    • Access to an invitation-only GPS Workplace by Facebook college hub platform

    • Comprehensive and reliable information on every stage of the college application process

    • Direct access to admissions officers, Ron Brown Scholars, Ron Brown Captains and guidance counselors to answer their college questions

    • Access to free standardized exam prep resources and information on test-optional institutions

    • Connections to one of the country's largest networks of African-American undergraduates, graduate students and alumni of elite and Ivy league schools

    The program admits those students facing particular hardship: Some 50% qualify for free lunch, and 20% will be first-generation college students. In addition, as opposed to traditional mentoring programs, Ron Brown Scholars and Captains who provide mentorship are similar in racial identity, age, income, and life experiences, which better enables them to meaningfully engage the students.

    "We are so proud of the hard work, dedication, and commitment to excellence that the Ron Brown Scholars have demonstrated and continue to demonstrate. And with the development of the Guided Pathway Support (GPS) program, even more students will receive the guidance to successfully and confidently navigate the college application process through the mentorship of Ron Brown Scholars who have been there before," said Linda Wilson, Executive Director of Fund II Foundation.

    Nine colleges and universities have enrolled as GPS Educational Partners, including Amherst College, Carleton College, the College of William & Mary, Cornell University, Northwestern University, the University of Virginia, Wake Forest University, Wellesley College, and Wesleyan University, with more institutions to come. The first cohort of GPS seniors gained acceptances to Harvard, Duke, Howard, Stanford, University of Virginia, Spelman, Washington University in St. Louis, and a host of other colleges and universities.

    For more information on GPS, please visit

    About the Ron Brown Scholar Program

    Named for the late Secretary of Commerce and inspired by his dedication to public service, the Ron Brown Scholar Program was established in 1996 to provide academic scholarships, service opportunities, and leadership experiences for young African Americans of outstanding promise. The program seeks to accelerate their progress into the mainstream of leadership positions in business, education, government, and a wide spectrum of professions, while instilling a dedication to leadership and service.

    About Fund II Foundation

    Fund II Foundation makes grants to 501(c)(3) public charities in five areas: 1) preservation of the African-American experience, 2) safeguarding human dignity by giving a voice to the voiceless and promoting human rights 3) improving environmental conservation and providing outdoor education that enables people of all ages and backgrounds to enjoy the numerous benefits of the great outdoors 4) facilitating music education, particularly in primary and secondary schools, to nourish both the mind and the soul 5) and sustaining the uniquely American values of entrepreneurship, empowerment, innovation and security. For more information on Fund II Foundation, visit

    Fund II Foundation Grants $2 Million to GPS (PDF)