Penn National Gaming has launched a diversity scholarship program for the children of its team members, which includes two-year and four-year awards, ranging from $2,500 to $10,000 annually.
To complement the roll-out, PNG is partnering with The Public Education Foundation to administer the program, and has committed $1m annually towards its funding.
“Last year, amidst one of the most challenging times in our nation’s history and as the world grappled with an outpouring of racial and social anguish, we formed a new Penn Diversity Committee to help put our company’s longstanding support of diversity and inclusion into action,” explained Jay Snowden, President and CEO of Penn National.
“The Diversity Committee, which reports directly to me, is comprised of a broad range of team members, including those from underrepresented communities from around the country and at varying levels in our organisation.
“It will ensure our company has mechanisms in place to listen to team members about important ongoing social justice issues, and to help implement new initiatives such as this Diversity Scholarship Program.
“Other examples include specific actions to increase our recruitment and support at Historically Black Colleges and Universities and universities with diverse populations, as well as increasing our support to organisations in our communities that promote equality, justice and diversity.”
Dependent children of any team members who are director-level or below with a minimum of one-year of tenure at the company are eligible to apply.
A competitive selection process will be administered by PEF and scholarship awards will be decided by its Scholarship Selection Committee, which it says is composed solely of individuals who are entirely independent of Penn National.
Financial need carries a 50 per cent weight in choosing awardees, while academic and extra-curricular achievements comprise the remainder of the selection criteria. Applications will be accepted until April 24, 2021 and scholarships are scheduled to be awarded the following month.
“In this time of economic uncertainty, more families are struggling with the costs of students attending college,” added Judi Steele, founder and CEO of The Public Education Foundation.
“We appreciate that Penn National Gaming has stepped up to invest in post-secondary education so that more students in need can realise their dreams.”