By Deseray McKinzy
The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) announced a pledge of $500,000 over the next two years from the Synchrony Foundation as part of its new initiative to advance education and economic opportunity for students and low-income communities.
According to Synchrony’s website, the company is a consumer financial services provider that delivers a wide range of specialized financing programs, as well as consumer banking products, across key industries including digital, retail, home, auto, travel, and health.
Synchrony’s Education as the Equalizer, which was launched Thursday, has a goal to expand access to higher education, skills training in high-growth fields, and financial literacy. In UAPB’s recent news release they explained the program builds on the company’s commitment to addressing the deeply-rooted economic and educational inequalities within communities through investment, engagement, and social reform.
“The pandemic has deepened economic inequality and accelerated demands for a more skilled workforce,” said Brian Doubles, President and CEO of Synchrony. “We believe access to education and skills training are key to driving an inclusive recovery, growing our economy, and securing a strong financial future.”
According to their website, Synchrony Foundation’s grant will help low-income students graduate college and offer guidance for future career opportunities by providing scholarships, business mentorships, and internships. Students will also have access to free online financial literacy courses on topics such as saving, budgeting, and student loans.
“We believe academic success secures foundations for strong community leaders who play a vital role in ensuring safe and inclusive communities for all,” said Chancellor Laurence B. Alexander.
Synchrony plans to invest more than $50 million in Education as an Equalizer over the next five years.