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Who We Are
The Ron Brown Scholar Fund is a 501(c)3 public charity, managed by an independent Board of Trustees. The Program which was named for the late Secretary of Commerce and inspired by his dedication to public service, focuses on encouraging civic engagement among Scholars while promoting academic excellence, community and lifelong interactions. Recipients are young African Americans of outstanding promise who are offered academic scholarships, service opportunities and leadership experiences.
The Ron Brown Scholar Program also provides Scholars with the financial resources to attend some of the finest colleges and universities in the country. Upon acceptance, Scholars are each awarded $40,000 ($10,000 per year for 4 years toward educational expenses), that may be used at the college or university of their choice. Acceptance into the Program means Scholars are also provided with the nurturing and mentorship to succeed and flourish in college and beyond. The Ron Brown Scholar Program has a proven track record of academic success with a 99 percent graduation rate. Graduating Scholars go on to outstanding careers in technology, arts, sciences and public service, and many more pursue professional degrees in law, medicine and business.
Originally founded by the CAP Charitable Foundation, the Ron Brown Scholar Program began awarding college scholarships to outstanding African American students to honor the legacy of service of the late Secretary of Commerce Ronald H. Brown. As the first African American to serve in the cabinet as Secretary of Commerce and the first to serve as Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Ron Brown was a figure of global prominence, respected for his intelligence, political savvy and leadership. In April of 1996, he died in a tragic plane crash during a trade mission to Eastern Europe. Since 1996, the Ron Brown Scholar Program has evolved to provide Scholars with more than just academic opportunities, fostering both the strong commitment of service and dedication to future leadership that Ron Brown helped embody.