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Wakanda Forever: 'Black Panther' Cast Introduces New Scholarship At The Hollywood Reporter's 2018 Women In Entertainment Gala

Wakanda Forever: 'Black Panther' Cast Introduces New Scholarship At The Hollywood Reporter's 2018 Women In Entertainment Gala


Photo credit:  Jesse Grant/Getty Images 

Earlier this week, The Hollywood's Reporter's 2018 Women in Entertainment gala was held at Milk Studios in Los Angeles. During the event, Black Panther cast members Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyong'o, and Danai Guirira made a special announcement surprising a promising high-performing student with a full-ride scholarship worth $250,000. 

This year marks the ninth year of The Hollywood Reporter’s Women in Entertainment Mentorship Program. It is held in collaboration with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles. The Black Panther scholarship has been newly established to provide one student from the mentorship program with a full-ride scholarship to Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.

After the success of "The Black Panther" movie, Walt Disney Studios created the scholarship. Giving additional context around why the scholarship was created, Guirira shared: "We know that if we want to live in a world that looks more like Wakanda, the first step is you invest in women and girls."

The inaugural award was presented to 17-year-old Kalis Coleman, who plans to become a pediatric dermatologist. The Inglewood native was surprised to learn of her recent selection to receive the award at the gala yet grateful and even more inspired to pursue her dreams.

Photo credit: Jesse Grant/Getty Images 

Coleman shared in her acceptance speech, "I just want to stand and say this is for girls who live in Compton, who live in Inglewood, and this is for girls and men who face adversities. I just want to say that we can do it and it is possible." 

In addition to Coleman, many other mentees in attendance were also presented with scholarships totaling a whopping $1.8 million. Most of these teens are from Los Angeles and surrounding areas that have historically been underserved and under resourced. While some scholarship funds were provided for students to attend Loyola Marymount University alongside Coleman, other monies were given allowing students to use them at a college or university of their choice. This year, scholarship funding contributors included well-known brands such as Lionsgate, Twitter, and American Airlines. More than $6 million in scholarships have been distributed via this mentorship program since its inception.