Education matters to Travis Scott. The rapper recently awarded $1 million in scholarships to graduates of 38 historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). The funds were disbursed through Scott’s Cactus Jack Foundation and the Waymon Webster Scholarship Fund, named after his grandfather, who was dean of an HBCU.
“Waymon Webster was dean of the Prairie View A&M graduate school,” Scott said in a statement posted on his website. “My grandfather wanted me to follow him to university, I think there is power in education, so to be able to give someone the opportunity to achieve this dream like my dad thought to me, that’s amazing.”
The 2022 scholarship recipients include students from Fisk University, Florida A&M University, and North Carolina Central University. To be eligible, students had to be graduating seniors with an average GPA of 3.5 or higher who may have experienced financial hardship in their last semester of spring 2022.
Florida A&M fellow and student Nisha Encarnacion, who is also a mother, said she spent eight years trying to earn her doctorate in pharmacy and funded most of her education. “I struggled financially all through college,” Nisha said in a YouTube thank you video, “And this scholarship would help me pay off some of my debt and some of my student loans and also help my family. My mother is solely dependent on me and I also have a daughter so there’s a lot going on but I am so grateful.
The Cactus Jack Foundation aims to “empower and enrich the lives of young people by providing access to educational and creative resources to ensure long-term success,” according to the website’s mission statement.
A total of one hundred $10,000 scholarships were awarded this year. This is the second year that Scott has rewarded HBCU students through his foundation. Last year’s winners included students from Howard University, Morehouse College, Texas Southern University and Grambling State University.
Last year, Scott opened a community garden center in his hometown of Houston, the Cactus Jack Garden Center, for kids who want to learn more about the environment and gardening. There’s also the Cactus Design Center, a 60,000 square foot facility for middle and high school students who want to pursue careers in design and engineering. The rapper also has the Project HEAL program, which offers free mental health scholarships and resources.
Scott’s children with partner Kylie Jenner, 4-year-old daughter Stormi and 3-month-old son, whose name has not yet been revealed but was previously Wolf, are too young to understand how much education is important, but their father will surely pull out all the stops for the big moments. For example, when his daughter kept talking about getting on a big yellow bus, he surprised Stormi with her own school bus.