McDonald’s USA is doing its part to support the next generation of Black leaders creating a better tomorrow.

By way of its recently announced $500,000 Black & Positively Golden HBCU scholarship fund, McDonald’s USA has announced expansion efforts of its longstanding commitment to support HBCU students, alumni, and women entrepreneurs.

A press release shares that the company and its owner/operators have teamed up with ESSENCE Girls United, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, and iHeartMedia for a special partnership to help award additional scholarship funds to students.

According to McDonald’s USA, this initiative builds upon its commitment to support and uplift the Black community, offering mentorship opportunities, seed capital for entrepreneurs, and college scholarships.

“We are honored to partner with Essence Girls United, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and iHeart Media to provide opportunities for HBCU students and alumni along their education, leadership and entrepreneurship journey,” Margaret “Marty” Gillis – New Jersey Owner/Operator and Owner/Operator Marketing Committee Lead – shared in a statement. “McDonald’s and its owner/operators are committed to fostering the communities we serve while furthering Black excellence through initiatives like our HBCU programs that are positively shaping communities and lives.”

This month, McDonald’s USA surprised 34 of the country’s brightest HBCU students with $15,000 McDonald’s Black & Positively Golden Scholarships, facilitated by TMCF, a press release reports.

Scholarship recipients also received school supply deliveries to their homes, including a tablet with a special congratulatory video message from celebrities and fellow HBCU alumni such as Terrence J, Ashley Blaine Featherson, KJ Smith, Quad Webb and David Banner, plus TMCF and McDonald’s representatives.

“Knowing the uncertainty and challenges facing college students returning to classes during the pandemic, we understand HBCU students will be most impacted, as they continue dealing with not only the impacts of COVID-19, but also civil unrest and demands for Black equality,” said Harry L. Williams, Thurgood Marshall College Fund President & CEO, in a statement. “That’s why TMCF is excited to partner with McDonald’s to help keep more Black students in college and to help provide the tools needed to succeed.”

McDonald’s has also partnered with iHeartMedia to host a month-long HBCU homecoming celebration to showcase HBCU pride and student’s achievements through iHeart’s various platforms, including on-air, streaming, podcasts and a live virtual event.

Additionally, McDonald’s collaborated with ESSENCE Girls United for a multi-week program centered around entrepreneurship and business advice from experts in the industry.

McDonald’s USA Black & Positively Golden movement acts as an extension of the company’s pledge to advance education, as demonstrated through its annual partnership with TMCF and its signature Archways to Opportunity program for restaurant crew and managers.

For more updates on McDonald’s expanding HBCU platform, follow @wearegolden on Instagram.