Penn National Gaming announced that it has launched a new Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Scholarship Program in partnership with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in states where it operates.
Through this initiative, Penn National will dedicate more than $4 million over five years to fund STEM scholarships and internship opportunities at the company. The initial participating HBCUs include Norfolk State University in Norfolk, Virginia, Bowie State University in Bowie, Maryland, and Wilberforce University in Wilberforce, Ohio.
“Last year, we formed the Penn Diversity Committee to help put our company’s longstanding support of diversity and inclusion into action,” said Jay Snowden, president and CEO of Penn National. “The committee, which reports directly to me, includes a broad range of team members from underrepresented communities and at varying levels in our organization.
“Their guidance led to the company launching a $1 million annual Diversity Scholarship Program for children of Penn National team members in furtherance of the company’s commitment to equity in postsecondary education opportunities. This year 58 scholarships were awarded to eligible candidates, 57 percent of whom are first-generation students.
“The hard work of our Diversity Committee continues to help identify opportunities for new initiatives, including today’s announced commitment towards STEM scholarships and internships for students at HBCUs. Increasing access to STEM opportunities for HBCU students is another important step to promote social and economic equity, as well as diversity, inclusion and belonging.
“Penn National is well positioned to be North America’s leading digital, entertainment, sports content, gaming and technology company, and we look forward to supplementing these scholarships with real-life technical skills development for the STEM internship recipients.”
Penn National’s commitment to fund STEM scholarships and internship opportunities is an extension of the company’s established partnerships with 33 HBCUs across the country. The ongoing collaboration with HBCUs facilitates career opportunities at Penn National’s properties while increasing participation in its Leadership Excellence at Penn National Gaming (LEAP) Program, which provides hands-on training, mentoring and real-world experience to new or recent college graduates who are interested in building a long-term career in the gaming industry.
“We are incredibly proud of our partnerships with HBCUs across the country,” said Justin Carter, senior vice president of regional operations for Penn National and chairman of the company’s Diversity Committee. “The STEM Scholarship Program is another important step in narrowing the representation gap in STEM fields among certain underrepresented communities.”