The University of Wisconsin’s Office of Multicultural Arts Initiatives partnered up with the Hip Hop Sisters Foundation to offer a new full tuition scholarship to qualified students.
The $100,000 First Wave MC Lyte Scholarship is designed to bring talented students to campus and give them the tools to turn their passion into a profession, according to a statement released by the university.
The scholarship was named in honor of the female hip-hop artist MC Lyte, founder and CEO of the Hip Hop Sisters Foundation, the statement said.
“MC Lyte is a groundbreaking hip-hop pioneer and one of the most well-respected female hip-hop artists of our time,” said OMAI Education Coordinator for Alexis Anderson-Reed.
In addition to tuition, the scholarship will also award the recipient with a spot as one of the scholars for First Wave, UW’s spoken word and hip-hop arts learning community.
The scholarship will be awarded to one high school senior looking to pursue a bachelor’s degree at UW, the statement said. Students must first be granted admission to the university for fall 2013 before they can be considered for the scholarship.
According to Anderson-Reed, because of the connection to the First Wave program, the scholarship committee is looking for applicants who embody the mission of the program. First Wave focuses on the three As: arts, academics and activism, she said.
Anderson-Reed described the ideal candidates as “students that are highly motivated and excel academically, are the top young hip-hop and urban artists in the nation and are dedicated to social justice and community uplift.”
OMAI chose to partner with the Hip Hop Sisters Foundation because they saw the goals of the foundation as a perfect fit for what they were trying to accomplish with the scholarship, Anderson-Reed said.
She added HHSF is dedicated to helping the hip-hop generation change their lives and achieve their dreams. This scholarship shows the success of when hip-hop and higher education support and strengthen one another. She noted the two do not have to live in “separate worlds.”
“Being a part of this scholarship program will benefit students by encouraging youth who have been influenced by hip-hop culture to change their lives through higher education and pursue a career of their interest,” Anderson-Reed said.
According to the statement, First Wave is “the only higher education program of its kind to offer to incorporate hip-hop artistry at the college level.”
The program, which is administered through OMAI, brings together young artists and leaders from across the U.S., Anderson-Reed said.
According to Anderson-Reed, the First Wave program “epitomizes the Wisconsin Idea on the UW campus.” First Wave seeks to combine artistic expression and innovation with social justice and activism, using students’ talents in the field of hip-hop and spoken word to positively impact their community, she said.
“The program strives to go beyond the ‘boundaries’ of the university to impact and learn from the
community,” Anderson-Reed said.
The submission deadline for the scholarship is Oct. 1, 2012.