Travis Scott announces philanthropic initiatives

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Artist and performer Travis Scott has announced Project HEAL, a multi-tiered, long-term series of community-focused philanthropy and investment efforts. To kick off the effort today, $1 million in promised scholarships for students at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) will be available to give a boost to students in need. With support from Scott, the Waymon Webster Scholarship Fund will award $10,000 scholarships to seniors who have achieved academic excellence (average of 3.5 or higher) but face the last-minute challenge of financial adversity in their second semester of senior year – and are at risk of not graduating. The scholarships will allow 100 students to cross the finish line, diploma in hand. This is Scott’s second year supporting HBCUs and that’s a tenfold increase.

Past recipients include students from Howard University, Morehouse College, Texas Southern University, Grambling State University and Prairie View A&M University – Scott’s grandfather’s alma mater, where he also been an educator. The scholarship is named after Waymon Webster to honor his lifetime of dedication to academic excellence. Applications are now open online at cactusjack.foundation.

Travis Scott said: “My grandfather was an educator who made a difference in thousands of young lives throughout his life. He is a major influence on me and countless others, whose dreams he believed in, whose hopes he invested and whose future he made great. It is in his spirit that we create projects and programs that will look to the future of our communities and create hope and excellence in as many lives as possible.

Jordan Webster, project manager at the Cactus Jack Foundation’s HBCU program, Howard University student and sister of Travis Scott, said: “I personally know how important my grandfather’s academic legacy at HBCUs is to Travis and to my entire family – my twin brother Josh also attends HBCU, at Prairie View A&M University. Travis is creating hope and making a real difference for 100 of our HBCU peers who will be able to graduate debt-free. As a third generation HBCU student, I couldn’t be prouder to partner with Travis for the second year of this outstanding initiative.

Nasire Branch, recipient of the first annual Waymon Webster Scholarship and current student at Morehouse College, said: “When I announced that I was planning to go to Morehouse College, many people told me that I was making the wrong decision and going into too much debt. Thanks to the support of the Cactus Jack Foundation, I’m one step closer to achieving my dream of not only being the first in my family to attend HBCU, but also the first to graduate in four years.

HEAL’s second pillar tackles the country’s soaring mental health crisis – and focuses much-needed resources to support services for young people in low-income communities of color, many of whom have few options for available, accessible and affordable mental health.

With seven-figure funding pledges for digital counseling and helplines, Scott will offer free programs with licensed professional counselors and social workers. Houston-based behavioral health expert Dr. Janice Beal will lead the effort with support from Scott. Beal is the programming director of “Well Being in Color,” a peer mental health education program for students of color in addition to her private practice. Most recently, Dr. Beal developed mental health pipelines for the Houston Independent School District during the COVID-19 pandemic. She is a member of the Mayor of Houston’s Task Force on Special Needs and advises members of the US Congress on youth mental health issues.

Dr Janice Beal said: “Mental health is traditionally a taboo subject. As life begins to return to normal, many young people are still hurting and needing help to rehabilitate after severe disruptions to their experiences at home, school and within their communities. With the help of Travis Scott, HEAL’s programs will help young people overcome their mental health challenges and be their best selves.

The Third Pillar, in collaboration with Travis Scott’s Cactus Jack Foundation, is a seven-figure expansion of TXRX Labs’ CACT.US Youth Design Center in Houston, a nonprofit creative space for young artists, designers, innovators technologies, including free studio space, workspace, tool spaces, vocational training and apprenticeships, youth education and events. HEAL will fund a comprehensive new creative design training program for the Center – existing where fashion, art, technology and music intersect – through a strategic online partnership with a historically black college or university.

The fourth and final pillar is addressing security challenges for large-scale live events by funding the United States Conference of Mayors Task Force on Event Security and a technology-focused device currently in development. . This solution is the culmination of stakeholder contributions from key industry experts in technology, government, emergency response, event management, healthcare, and public safety experts.

This will be the first time that all of these stakeholders will work together to most effectively address the security challenges faced by future large-scale events, which will culminate in a comprehensive report of recommendations. HEAL will strive to promote this report as a new safety and security blueprint for all large-scale festivals and events.

Rev. Dr. Johnnie Greene, president of Mobilizing Preachers and Communities (“MPAC”) and senior pastor of Mount Neboh Baptist Church in Harlem, New York, said“Travis Scott’s generosity will directly help black youth and families in need. From providing scholarships, essential mental resources and inspiring educational programs, Travis Scott stands up for the black community by providing the support needed to ensure our God-given potential is recognized and realized, and soon . We need more leaders who are ready to step up in tough times like this, and I commend Travis and his team. »

Rev. Dr. DZ Cofield, MPAC member and pastor of Good Hope Missionary Baptist Church in Houston, said“At a time when the black community is still struggling to overcome the twin crises of the pandemic and racial injustice, and all their negative impacts on our physical, financial, mental and spiritual health, Travis provides unparalleled assistance with HEAL. I applaud him for doing what his community needs at such a critical time.”

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