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Napa Valley Vintners Scholarship Fund to Increase Diversity in Wine Industry Opens to Applicants through UNCF

4/26/2021 - Saint Helena, CA—Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) and UNCF (United Negro College Fund) proudly announce scholarship applications are now being accepted for students wishing to pursue a career in the wine industry. The first recipients will receive support toward college tuition this fall. 

Last September, NVV committed $1 million to the fund, pledging $200,000 each year for the next five years, and has begun a fundraising effort to build the fund beyond that initial investment.

"The NVV represents one of the foremost wine regions and strives to be a leader in the world of wine. We hope to strengthen our industry by attracting more diverse talent who will bring new points of view and contribute in meaningful ways to all aspects of our wine community," said Linda Reiff, president and CEO of Napa Valley Vintners. "We’re excited to have an opportunity to make a difference starting this fall with the first 40 recipients beginning their careers in as soon as one to four years."

The new scholarship program was created to encourage people of color to pursue college degrees and careers in the wine industry in subjects ranging from grape growing, winemaking, marketing, business and more at a college or university that has an established wine-related program of study. Over the next five years, 200 need-based scholarships will be awarded.

Recipients will receive $5,000 each to assist with tuition up to four years for $20,000 total. Students in any year of college, freshmen to senior, as well as graduate students are eligible.  Black/African American, Indigenous/Native American, Latinx, Asian American, Pacific Islander and other candidates of color are encouraged to apply.

The scholarship program not only provides financial assistance, but also helps ensure students are set up for long term career success. Upon graduation students will already have work experience and contacts in the industry. 

Qualifying institutions must have mentorship, internship and career placement programs in place to help students succeed in their careers beyond their studies.  For the first round of scholarships there are four qualifying colleges and universities: Napa Valley College, Cal Poly at San Luis Obispo, Sonoma State University and University of California at Davis.

“We decided to partner with UNCF because of their long-standing history of empowering minority populations through college success. Their track record of helping more than half a million students graduate since their founding is unmatched. Through their network we hope to broaden our reach,” said Reiff.

UNCF is the largest and most successful minority education organization of its kind, second only to the federal government in providing funds to assist students to get to and through college.

“This is a unique and outstanding partnership,” said Dr. Michael L. Lomax, president and CEO, UNCF. “We are thankful that Napa Valley Vintners has offered this first-of-its-kind scholarship program—to open doors to our students that would not otherwise be there. This opportunity will lead to more career options for students across all spectrums, and that’s what all of us are striving for at UNCF.”

The deadline to apply is June 16, 2021. Interested applicants should go to https://scholarships.uncf.org/ToProgram/Napavalley.

About Napa Valley Vintners

The Napa Valley Vintners nonprofit trade association has been cultivating excellence since 1944 by inspiring its 550 members to consistently produce wines of the highest quality, to provide environmental leadership and to care for the extraordinary place they call home.

About UNCF

UNCF (United Negro College Fund) is the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization. To serve youth, the community and the nation, UNCF supports students’ education and development through scholarships and other programs, supports and strengthens its 37 member colleges and universities, and advocates for the importance of minority education and college readiness. UNCF institutions and other historically Black colleges and universities are highly effective, awarding nearly 20% of African American baccalaureate degrees. UNCF administers more than 400 programs, including scholarship, internship and fellowship, mentoring, summer enrichment, and curriculum and faculty development programs. Today, UNCF supports more than 60,000 students at over 1,100 colleges and universities across the country. Its logo features the UNCF torch of leadership in education and its widely recognized trademark, "A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”® Learn more at UNCF.org or for continuous updates and news, follow UNCF on Twitter at @UNCF.


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