Future of STEM Scholars Initiative
The Future of STEM Scholars Initiative (FOSSI)
Opening Doors to the Future of STEM
FOSSI is a program providing scholarships and professional development opportunities directed at furthering science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education in students from underrepresented communities.
Recognizing a lack of diversity throughout the STEM workforce, Chemours has partnered with the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), the American Chemistry Council (ACC), and HBCU Week Foundation to provide scholarships to students pursuing STEM degrees at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), and connecting those students to internships, leadership development, and mentoring opportunities at participating companies.
When our industry opens doors to STEM education, we’re not only advancing diversity, inclusion and equity—we’re shifting paradigms, boldly leading the charge to change the chemical industry, our world, and lives. This is why our broader Corporate Responsibility Commitment includes goals for increased diversity, and FOSSI is one of the many ways we’re broadening access to STEM skills in the communities where we live and work. I encourage our industry to join us in supporting this initiative to create a more diverse, future-proof workforce.
Chairman of the Board
Building a Bright Future for Students and Our Industry
FOSSI is a core initiative of the AIChE Doing a World of Good campaign and its All for Good: Engineering for Inclusion priority, which is driving industry-wide improvement in equity, diversity and inclusion, in addition to being a part of our Empowered Employees Corporate Responsibility Commitment goals to attract and nurture diverse talent. This is also aligned with HBCU Week Foundation’s mission to provide scholarships for increased opportunities to pursue a STEM education.
FOSSI is dedicated to supporting scholars who would otherwise not have access to quality STEM education due to financial barriers. Eligible applicants must:
- Major in a STEM discipline
- Plan to attend an HBCU on a full-time basis
- Have a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
- Demonstrate financial need
The need for this type of program is clear and immediate. According to 2012 statistics from the United States Department of Labor, Black and Latinx college students make up less than 20% of those studying in science- or math-based disciplines and only 5% of the STEM-related workforce.1
HBCUs are well positioned to help fill the gap, as they are responsible for 40% of the bachelor’s degrees awarded to Black students in such STEM fields as physics, chemistry, environmental science and mathematics.2 It is our belief that this program will support students in becoming the next generation of scientists, researchers, engineers, mathematicians and doctors, innovating and finding solutions to some of the future’s most pressing problems.
Become a Part of Transforming Our Industry
FOSSI was established in recognition of and to combat a lack of diversity within the STEM workforce. We encourage companies and organizations across the STEM industry to work with us—the AIChE, the ACC, and HBCU Week Foundation—on this initiative, bringing to bear our collective might and our ability to make a large-scale impact together.
Our immediate goal is to fund 150 scholars for 2021, who represent:
- A solution that delivers real impact for companies by significantly increasing the number of students underrepresented in the STEM talent pool.
- A demonstration of meaningful corporate social responsibility and leadership by the chemical industry.
SVP, Corporate Communications and Chief Brand Officer
Chemours has committed $5M to this initiative to invest in top talent from all communities. In the next ten years, one million STEM jobs will be available, and we want to meet this need with graduates who are bright, competitive, and diverse.