Independent College Fund of Maryland (iFund)

  Urban Scholars Program

Hershel Waites

The I-Fund scholarship allowed me to attend the university of my choice, while at the same time provided development of key personal and professional skills. I value the experiences I have had, lessons I have learned, the lifelong relationships and contacts I have gained, as well as opportunities for the future made available through the internships.

Thank You!

The Urban Scholars Program (USP) is a unique partnership among the Independent College Fund of Maryland (the I-Fund), Baltimore City's business community and Maryland 10 independent liberal arts colleges and universities.

Interested in helping to construct a brighter future for Baltimore City?
Contact the I-Fund today!

Designed to provide access to higher education to more low- and middle-income minority students and those with a demonstrable interest in diversity from Baltimore City, the USP offers financial support, internship and networking experiences that provide a road map to professional employment after graduation. The program also serves as a vehicle for the business community in recruiting talent from Baltimore City.


USP Graduate Celebration at M&T Bank
High School seniors from Baltimore City interested in becoming an I-Fund Urban Scholar should contact the admissions office at the I-Fund college/university to which they have applied and ask to be considered for an Urban Scholar Program Scholarship.

Program Components, Scholar Benefits, Eligibility


  • Scholars are selected in their senior year of high school by admissions officers of
    the I-Fund's member colleges and universities according to each school's unique admission criteria. Incoming freshman are selected from January to September.


  • Scholarship:
  • a four-year $10,000 annual scholarship

  • Skill-Building Workshops & Seminars:

    • Winter Economic Development Retreat held at a downtown Baltimore location, an all-day event that features workshops provided by program funders. Past topics include: "How to Interview", "Business Etiquette", "Social Networking", "Negotiating Your Future". Students lunch with corporate executives and participate in employer/student roundtable discussions of options for internships and/or employment.
    • Summer - An early summer Wealth Management Seminar conducted by a prominent local financial institution. Over the course of the scholars' academic career, topics range from banking services such as opening a checking account, to the pitfalls of credit, borrowing for a home and saving/investing for their future. Event is followed by a business networking reception.
    • August
    • - Resume Writing Workshop and closing ceremony at a downtown Baltimore location; includes a seminar provided by HR professionals where students interpret their internship experiences into line items on their resume. Students are presented certificates of accomplishment. A networking reception with prominent corporate representatives concludes the event.

    • Paid Summer Internship Opportunities - Scholars are provided paid internship opportunities each summer of their academic career. The experiences are intended to give them insight into the Baltimore business community as well as opportunities for mentoring from senior level management which may lead to potential employment upon graduation.
    • Networking Opportunities - Incorporated into each of the three scholar events.
    • Mentoring Experience:
      • Scholars receive a mentoring experience each year of their academic career. Mentors from the corporate community as well as graduates of the USP round out the pool of volunteers.
      • Scholarship Requirements:

      • Students continue to receive the scholarship each year for four (4) years if they:
        • Maintain Baltimore City Residency
        • Maintain a cumulative minimum 2.8 GPA
        • Attend skill-building workshops and networking events
        • Complete a paid internship each summer
        • Criteria Used to Determine Eligibility:
          • Financial need (preference for student from low- and moderate-income families)
          • High school academic performance
          • Leadership potential demonstrated through high school activities and community involvement
          • A hometown of Baltimore City
          • Preference is given to minority students and those with a demonstrable interest in diversity
        USP Night out at the Orioles
          Since its inception in 2004, the I-Fund Urban Scholars Program has:
        • Awarded more than $1.7 Million in scholarships to needy students
        • Celebrated 24 graduates from the USP
        • Assisted graduates of the program in entering the workforce, matriculating
          in graduate programs and continuing outreach to future Urban Scholars
        • Provided mentors for each Urban Scholar with the assistance of corporate and
          USP graduate volunteers

      What are they doing now?

      Many have pursued or are pursuing graduate or doctoral degrees. Also, grads are employed
      full-time in the following roles:

      • Teachers
      • Medical researchers
      • Accountants
      • Medical Compliance Officers
      • Animal Assistants/Trainers
      • Entrepreneurs
      • Paralegals
      • Counselors
      • Pastors
      • Social Service Agents
      • Client Relations
      2013-2014 Urban Scholars Program Participantsspacer
      Olusegun Alade..... McDaniel College
      Maria Almojuela.....
      Loyola University Maryland
      Edward Bennett.....
      Stevenson University
      Samantha Burrell.....
      Goucher College
      Keiva Cole.....
      Notre Dame of Maryland University
      Micah Conner.....
      Goucher College
      Kelsey Hamilton.....
      Stevenson University
      Shaunae Evans-Wheatley.....
      Stevenson University
      Dikshant Malla.....
      Johns Hopkins University
      Casteel Johnson.....
      Mount St. Mary's University
      Maurice Oldham.....
      Mount St. Mary's University
      Dazhane Merritt.....
      Washington College
      Erika Montenegro.....
      Goucher College
      Jean Reed.....
      McDaniel College
      Uzma Rimzan.....
      Notre Dame of Maryland University
      Curtis Stubbs.....
      Hood College
      Michael Townes.....
      Loyola University Maryland
      Johnai Williams.....
      Stevenson University
      Rebekah Wheatley.....
      Johns Hopkins University

      Urban Scholars Program: Constructing a Better Future I consider my participation in the I-Fund's Urban Scholars Program to be one of God's greatest gifts. As an African-American female from inner city Baltimore, where selling drugs, dodging bullets and incarcaration is the reality of my peers, I did not allow my environmne to dictate my destiny. I chose to use my education as a key to open doors that went beyond my neighborhood. Urban Scholars provided a scholarship at McDaniel, opportunities for summer internships, networking opportunities, resume, interview and money management workshops, all viable tools for the journey that lies ahead. Thank you I-Fund and supporters for helping to make my dreams come true.

      Thank You!
      —Tori Butler, (I-Fund's first Urban Scholar)
      McDaniel College—Class of 2007

      Program Funders &
      In-Kind Gift Contributors
      Summer Internship Sponsors
      Associated Black Charities Abrams, Foster, Nole & Williams, P.A.
      Carrollton Bank

      AfroAmerican Newspaper
      Compass Group/Bon Appetit

      Baltimore Algebra Project
      BGE

      Baltimore Life Insurance Company
      Greater Baltimore Committee

      Bon Secours Hospital
      Legg Mason

      Carrollton Bank
      Lord Baltimore Capital Corporation

      Comcast
      MattGrayPhotot.com

      Constellation Energy/BGE
      M&T Bank

      Erickson Retirement Communities
      PNC Bank

      Gallagher, Evelius & Jones
      P&G Foundation

      Harbor Bank Maryland
      Saul Ewing LLP

      Johns Hopkins Hospital
      SC&H Group LLC

      Johns Hopkins University
      Shawe Family Foundation

      LifeBridge Health System
      SunTrust Bank

      M&T Bank
      Travelers

      MDOT
      T. Rowe Price Associates Foundation, Inc.

      The Maryland Zoo
      The Wachovia Wells Fargo Foundation

      Parks & People Foundation
      Workforce Tactix

      Plexus Communications


      Provident Bank


      St. Agnes Hospital


      VMG Marketing

        Interested in helping to construct a brighter future for Baltimore City?

        Contact the I-Fund today!

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