In partnership with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF), McDonald's is awarding $500,000 in scholarships to 35 students attending historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs). The fast food chain says it wants to alleviate mental health struggles among Black students, citing its own survey in which three out of four Black college students reported struggling with symptoms of anxiety or depression.
According to McDonald's, its survey also found that more than 72% of respondents said they would have liked to speak to a mental health professional, but didn't, and 46% said it was too difficult to find a mental health professional they felt comfortable with. To help fill that counseling gap, the fast food chain is also providing lifetime memberships to Shine, a minority-owned stress and anxiety management app.
"We take seriously the opportunity we have to help our future Black leaders succeed," said Marty Gillis, New Jersey McDonald's owner/operator and national diversity marketing committee lead. "The intense and sustained financial and emotional challenges of the past two years have been difficult for many Black students, which is why McDonald's and our Owner/Operators are committed to meeting them where they are by providing resources and support, in addition to scholarships."
McDonald's and TMCF created the McDonald's Black & Positively Golden Scholarship Program in 2020 to help HBCU students continue their education amid COVID-19. Since its creation, more than one million in scholarships has been awarded to HBCU students.