Whether you’ve experienced them first-hand or know someone personally who has, we all know of the horror stories of unpaid internships. Fortunately, according to Essence, a new partnership is coming to the financial rescue of students who want to move forward with great unpaid opportunities, but don’t have the luxury to afford missing out on coins.

Gen Z hair care brand Next of Us (NOU) and D.C.-based nonprofit Pay Our Interns have teamed up for the “Next of Us Intern Opportunity Fund.” The new funding “will award $50,000 in need-based stipends to help Gen Z BIPOC and working-class college students overcome financial hurdles that often create barriers to career advancement,” according to the outlet.

“NOU believes in the power of the next generation to make the world better for themselves and generations to come,” said Lela Coffey, Vice President, Multicultural Hair Brands and North America Hair Care Portfolio, P&G Beauty in a news release. “We are proud to partner with Pay Our Interns to establish a program that tangibly serves the unique needs of Gen Z communities of color, helping to make their hair and life journey a more fulfilling experience.”

Pay Our Interns

Pay Our Intern’s mission to help advance working-class youth by advocating for more paid internships ties in with how the partnership aims to jumpstart college students’ careers through alleviating financial burdens that stand in the way.

“We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to partner with Next of Us on the Intern Opportunity Fund,” said Carlos Mark Vera, Executive Director of Pay Our Interns in a news release. “NOU’s mission to support Gen Z and ensure equity and representation in hair care aligns closely with our ongoing work to increase diversity in our overall workforce. The idea that we can all strive to be our best when we have the tools to do so, is something both POI and NOU believe in strongly, and something we believe this fund will help our applicants do.”

How To Apply

The need-based stipends for living and educational expenses including food, housing, transportation, or family care/contribution are open for eligible college students to apply.

The submission deadline is March 31.

To learn more about NOU, click here.