As part of its ongoing efforts to develop the next generation of leaders, The Kemper Foundation has donated $130,000 to FIU Business. The gift will fund the Kemper Scholars Program, a new program for FIU students that offers scholarships, mentorship and career navigation resources. The donation also supports grants for FIU faculty.
"The purpose of the program is to support high-potential, diverse students demonstrating financial need and a strong interest in pursuing a career in business, finance or insurance," said Jillian Odueyungbo, who serves as director of diversity, equity and inclusion at the Kemper Corporation and co-manages the Kemper Scholars Program.
The program is awarding three scholarships during the 2021–2022 academic year, and five during the 2022–2023 academic year, totaling $80,000. Each selected scholarship recipient will receive $10,000 and will be named a Kemper Scholar. Additionally, Kemper Scholars and FIU students will be eligible to apply for paid internship opportunities at the local Kemper Corporation office starting in 2022.
According to Odueyungbo, the Kemper Corporation internship program is a great way for students to gain exposure to the insurance industry and can lead to future job opportunities. Having the opportunity to work with professionals in Kemper's Doral offices is a unique advantage, she added.
The remaining $50,000 of the gift is allocated to faculty grants for diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) research. Odueyungbo hopes that the faculty awardees will engage Kemper Scholars through on-campus lectures, discussions and workshops to further develop and support diverse leaders of the future.
"The faculty are there on the ground," said Odueyungbo. "The purpose is for them to help and partner with the scholars and to increase that visibility to the industry as well."
The scholarship is open to juniors and seniors majoring in finance, data analytics, actuarial science or business, with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Students must also demonstrate financial need through Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and cannot be employees or children of employees of the Kemper family of insurance companies.
FIU is one of 10 universities nationwide, including six historically Black colleges and universities and Hispanic-serving institutions, to receive student and faculty funding support from The Kemper Foundation.