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Rihanna launches study abroad scholarship

Global superstar Rihanna has announced a new scholarship that will fund study abroad in the US for students from Brazil, Barbados, Cuba, Haiti, Grenada, Guyana and Jamaica.

The scholarship will be managed by Rihanna’s nonprofit, the Clara Lionel Foundation. Photo: Flickr/Larissa Suellen.

"A lot of these kids are doing well in school but they may not have the access or the financial stability to be able to take it any further"

The Clara Lionel Foundation Global Scholarship Program, managed by Rihanna’s nonprofit organisation, will award scholarships of $5,000-$50,000 to fund undergraduate study at a US higher education institution.

“The goal is to create a cyclical effect with scholars eventually being able to help others become thriving professionals, educators, and philanthropists”

The scholarship is intended to help “highly motivated youth” who may not otherwise have access to higher education, according to the foundation’s website, and will cover tuition fees for a full, four-year degree.

“The goal is to create a cyclical effect with CLF scholars eventually being able to help others become thriving professionals, educators, and philanthropists,” the website states.

Following the June 10 application deadline, a pool of 50 finalists will be selected, from which an as-yet undecided number of students will be chosen to receive the scholarships.

The number of scholarships awarded will be based on need, according to the foundation. It has not said how much will be given away in total.

Finalists will be selected based on their academic performance, leadership and participation in school and community activities, work experience, as well as a statement of educational goals. Unusual personal circumstances and an outside appraisal will also factor into the decision.

The awards, will be renewable for up to three subsequent years, provided the student maintains a GPA of 2.5 (or the equivalent).

“We want college graduates in our programme,” said Rihanna. “A lot of these kids, they’re really smart and they’re doing really, really well in school but they may not have the access or the financial stability to be able to take it any further than that, and that’s why we started this programme.”

The Clara Lionel Foundation, named after Rihanna’s grandparents, was established in 2012 as a nonprofit that “works to improve the quality of life for communities globally in the areas of health, education, arts and culture”. As well as the new scholarships, the foundation also provides micro-grants for schools programmes in Barbados.

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