FAMU students receive Everyday People grants from Figgers Foundation
Fifteen Florida A&M University students received Everyday People Grants from the Figgers Foundation during a Black History Month presentation by Freddie Figgers, one of the youngest African-Americans to own and operate an independent, U.S.-based telecommunications company. The grants were presented to students on Feb. 24 after the FAMU lecture.
The students, who benefit from the Dorothy Henderson Scholars Program (DHSP) at FAMU, a campus-based support program for homeless and former foster care students, each received a $500 grant to help them with personal expenses. An additional $500 grant was also presented to the FAMU Foundation.
The $8,000 in grants are provided through a new community assistance program that bequests financial relief to Floridians in need. Called the Everyday People Initiative, the Foundation will extend a helping hand anywhere to anyone in need.
“Through our Everyday People Initiative, The Figgers Foundation is able to provide temporary financial relief to Floridians. These students, some of whom are homeless or have just left the foster system, are supported by FAMU to get a great education to do great things with their lives,” said Carolyn Newman, executive director of The Figgers Foundation. “We immediately realized that they, like many Floridians today, need a little extra financial help, so we made these grants to assist the students in their everyday lives. We pass it forward because it’s the right thing to do.”
Through the Everyday People Initiative, The Figgers Foundation will provide small financial grants to qualified individuals or families and to community agencies that refer a needy recipient. The program is focused on supporting Floridians who experience personal hardships or true emergencies. While the program will eventually be national in scope, applicants will be limited to Florida residents initially. The financial need could be anything from paying a utility bill to supporting a community group that helps individuals.
The Foundation was inspired by the vision of its founder, Freddie Figgers, an American inventor, programmer and entrepreneur, who brings a profound American success story to his dedication to helping others in need.
Figgers was abandoned at birth and left in a dumpster by his biological mother in Quincy, Florida. Rescued at two-days old by a loving couple who eventually adopted him and raised him as their own, Figgers has never forgotten how he first began his life and his eventual good fortune.
Growing up, technology played a central role in his development and he realized how it could impact people’s lives. He also learned the value of giving back and the importance of making a difference in the world. These simple beliefs remain the essence and guiding principles of the Figgers Foundation today.
The Foundation continues to focus on programs that improve the quality of education in our schools, including STEM and retraining a new workforce, to support and provide opportunities for the weakest and most susceptible families and children and provide accessible technology to communities that have often been overlooked.
The Figgers Foundation supports a virtual GED/community college program at the Gadsden County Prison in Florida that provides access to inmates to help them move forward with their lives. The program has graduated about 50 people so far.
Among its many programs, the Foundation awards college scholarships to deserving high school seniors through its Hidden Figgers Scholarship program.
The organization is also addressing healthcare inequalities throughout the world by supporting new and innovative approaches to the most pressing health challenges, including of course, COVID-19. Most notably, the Foundation has also donated and distributed 2.6 million units of personal-protection equipment (PPE) including N95 masks, surgical masks and face shields, to hospitals and healthcare workers on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic around the country.
“Our diverse programs at the Figgers Foundation all have one common thread,” said Figgers. “They are designed to have an impact and make the world a better place. For as long as I can remember, I have always dreamed of giving back and making a difference. What the Foundation has already achieved and what we hope it will accomplish in the years ahead is the embodiment of that dream.”
The Figgers Foundation, a Florida-based private foundation, is dedicated to bringing awareness, promoting change and providing solutions to many real-life issues and challenges.