Travis Scott announced Tuesday (May 17) that he’s giving away $ 1 million in scholarships to 100 HBCU college students from the graduating class of 2022 through his Cactus Jack Foundation.
Named after the Houston rapper’s grandfather and HBCU educator and spearheaded by his sister Jordan Webster – who graduated from Howard University this year – the Waymon Webster Scholarship is geared towards assisting Black students who have achieved academic excellence (averaging at least a 3.5 GPA) but are experiencing financial adversity in the second semester of their senior year. The Waymon Webster Scholarship Fund, currently in its second year, is granting $ 10,000 scholarships to 100 seniors.
“Excellence abounds in every Black household, but too often the opportunity does not – and Black students are left behind or counted out. So that’s what my family and I set out to change, ”Scott (real name Jacques Webster) said in a press release announcing the scholarship. “We congratulate all 100 scholarship recipients this year. I know we will see great things from them – and we are already looking forward to increasing our work next year. ”
Added his sister Jordan: “Last week, I received my own diploma from Howard University. I know personally how deeply important my grandfather’s academic legacy at HBCUs is to my entire family – to Travis, as well as my twin brother Josh who is at Prairie View A&M University – and now, to 100 people that Travis has been able to help out at a tough time. It means the world to be able to work with my brother as he creates hope and makes a real difference for our peers and their families. ”
The Webster family effort touches on Scott’s family history with HBCUs, as his mother attended Grambling State University in Louisiana and his father went to Prairie View A&M University in Texas, where his younger brother Josh is currently a student and where his grandfather Waymon was dean of the graduate school. “My grandfather passed not too long ago. I want to use any type of power I have to carry on his legacy on education and the knowledge he instilled in me to help the next person who wants to be educated and not held back from education by anything, ”he told The Associated Press last year, when he won the Red Carpet Advocacy award for his HBCU philanthropic efforts.
“Black students are less than half as likely to graduate from college as white students, and financial pressure is the primary reason,” said Marc Morial, president / CEO of the National Urban League, in a statement. “We applaud Travis Scott and the Cactus Jack Foundation for investing in the next generation and congratulate the 100 Waymon Webster Scholarship recipients on their graduation.”
Back in October 2020, the “Mafia” MC pledged to pay a semester’s tuition for five HBCU students. The following month, he launched the Cactus Jack Foundation, when he introduced the Waymon Webster Scholarship Fund to cover tuition fees for HBCU students that year. The “Sicko Mode” star personally selected students enrolled in Morehouse College, Howard University, Texas Southern University, Grambling State University and Prairie View A&M University.
“In a warm and tremendously thoughtful gesture, Mr. Scott has made a lifelong impact on the 100 Waymon Webster Scholarship recipients. To have now eased, even slightly, the financial burden on these deserving HBCU graduates, Mr. Scott has set into motion a kind of investment that will pay infinite dividends into our communities for decades to come, ”added Daniel Moss, executive director of the HBCU Foundation.
The philanthropic gesture comes one day after Scott returned to the stage at the 2022 Billboard Music Awards, marking his first awards show performance since the Astroworld Festival last November, when a crowd crush during his headlining set left 10 people dead and hundreds injured. He faces ongoing litigation over the tragedy, as several lawsuits were combined into a single large lawsuit in January, with multiple attorneys representing thousands of alleged victims who are suing Scott and the Live Nation promoter.