Chemical Engineering Industry Announces Collaborative DE&I STEM Scholars Initiative

The American Chemistry Council (ACC), American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), The Chemours Company and HBCU Week Foundation today announced the chemical industry’s first collaborative equity, diversity and inclusion initiative aimed at creating pathways for more underrepresented groups to enter and succeed in the chemical industry.

The Future of STEM Scholars Initiative (FOSSI) provides opportunities for manufacturers, supply chain partners and other stakeholders to fund scholarships, create internships and facilitate mentoring and leadership training for students majoring in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

With an ambitious first year goal of underwriting 150 STEM Scholars at an investment of $7.2 million, FOSSI brings together the chemical industry’s collective might to make a significant impact on the future of the industry.
FOSSI is a core initiative of the AIChE Doing a World of Good campaign and its All for Good: Engineering for Inclusion priority, which is driving industry-wide improvement in equity, diversity and inclusion. ACC and The Chemours Company are founding partners in FOSSI, driving industry commitments to help meet the program’s bold first year goal. As a lead sponsor, Chemours has also pledged a multi-year commitment of $5 million. HBCU Week Foundation will serve as scholarship administrator for the initiative, driving engagement with educational institutions and students alike.

ACC Board of Director’s Chairman, Chemours President and CEO, and founding chair of FOSSI, Mark Vergnano, stated, “From our corporate responsibility commitments to the essential chemistry we produce every day, Chemours is committed to being a force for good in the communities where we operate. We’re excited to be the lead sponsor for FOSSI and to work with companies across our industry to drive this game-changing program. When our industry opens doors to more people pursuing STEM education, we’re not only advancing diversity, inclusion and equity—we’re shifting industry paradigms, creating a highly competitive workforce, and changing lives.”

Ashley Christopher, Founder and CEO of the HBCU Week Foundation, added, “I am proud of this partnership between the HBCU Week Foundation, AIChE, the American Chemistry Council, and Chemours. It is through partnerships like these, that black and brown children nationwide can actualize their full potential at HBCUs while minimizing the burden of student debt.”

FOSSI is dedicated to supporting scholars who would otherwise not have access to quality STEM education due to financial barriers. Eligible applicants must:

  • Major in a STEM discipline
  • Plan to attend an HBCU on a full-time basis
  • Have a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • Demonstrate financial need

To learn more about FOSSI and their scholarship, visit

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