November 18, 2021 Casino, Partnerships, Marketing

Penn National launches scholarship program with historically black colleges and universities

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Program expands on prior partnerships with HBCUs.

Industry giant Penn National Gaming has announced that it is launching an initiative that sees it provide Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics scholarships to historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). In total, $4m will be distributed over five years with and will fund internships in addition to traditional schooling.  

The initiative – known as the STEM Scholarship Program – will initially work with Norfolk State University in Norfolk, Virginia; Bowie State University in Bowie, Maryland; and Wilberforce University in Wilberforce, Ohio.  

Supporting HBCUs comes at an especially fraught few years for race relations in America, when concern inspired by the Black Lives Matter has led to numerous commercial entities reevaluating their approach to issues surrounding diversity, equity and conclusion.  

As Penn National’s President and CEO, Jay Snowden, explained: “Last year, we formed the Penn Diversity Committee to help put our Company’s longstanding support of diversity and inclusion into action. 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 $1m annual Diversity Scholarship Program for children of Penn National team members in furtherance of the Company’s commitment to equity in post-secondary education opportunities. This year 58 scholarships were awarded to eligible candidates, 57% of who are first generation students.” 

Penn National has a history of collaborating with HBCUs, having already established partnerships with 33 across the US. Part of the deal sees the HBCUs facilitate career development in a number of Penn National’s properties. Through its Leadership Program at Penn National Gaming (“LEAP”) Program, training and real-world experience are proffered to recent graduates with the hope of developing long-term careers in the gaming industry.  

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