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In the Press: VCU Alumna Pays It Forward by Launching a Scholarship Opportunity in Partnership with

RICHMOND, VA, July 30, 2020 /24-7PressRelease/ -- When digital strategist and entrepreneur Altimese Nichole was a student at VCU, she found it difficult to juggle schoolwork, living on her own, and navigating all of the requirements and timelines necessary to receive financial aid. Now that she is an agency owner running a successful communications company called The Ezer Agency (formerly known as Altimese Nichole Enterprise, LLC), she wants to pay it forward and is encouraging other Black entrepreneurs to do the same.

With the current climate of civil unrest, she wanted to give back to future leaders in the Black community. She decided to partner with an organization that helps Black girls prepare for college and adulthood. After doing research on organizations that support Black youth, she found a perfect fit with Girls For A Change.

"Having the opportunity to pay it forward and help young women on their journeys of growth is what life is all about. As an African American woman who had to struggle through school financially, I know personally the stress it brings. My goal is to alleviate a little bit of that anxiety, especially during this time in our history, and I request that other women of color entrepreneurs join me. Together our efforts can help lift the next generation of leaders to have a better foundation and knowing that they are supported in their efforts to achieve their goals." - Altimese Nichole, CEO, Ezer Agency

Girls For A Change (GFAC) is a nonprofit youth development organization aimed at empowering Black girls and other girls of color to visualize their bright futures and potential through discovery, development, innovation and social change in their communities. Altimese has set-up a $1K scholarship to VCU that continues every calendar year for five years through her agency, ANE, LLC. The scholarship will be offered to girls enrolled in the GFAC Girl Ambassador Program, a workforce development program for High School girls designed to help prepare them for the future of work.

"Higher education should be closing the gap between the rich and the poor. But college economics are driving them further apart. I was onboard immediately after Altimese shared her story and vision for the scholarship she wanted to offer. While tuition fees go up every year, the cost of a college education extends to room and board, transportation, food, entertainment, parking, etc. This is why scholarships are so important, especially for Black girls. While scholarships may not cover the entire cost of school, they definitely help reduce it and they don't have to be paid back line loans. I can tell countless stories about Black women who spent most of their college years stressed with the uncertainties of returning to school for the next semester due to financial barriers. We appreciate this gift to share with our Girl Ambassador participants and look forward to welcoming more Black women entrepreneurs sharing their stories and supporting our girl's dream to continue her education." - Angela Patton, CEO, Girls For A Change

Scholarship Criteria

Must be an upcoming college freshman attending Virginia Commonwealth University or received early acceptance into Virginia Commonwealth University.

Must be an active member of the Girl Ambassador Program with Girls For A Change.

Must submit a 500-1,500 word essay outlining your goals, life vision, and importance of this scholarship opportunity.

In addition to this opportunity, The Ezer Agency is imploring other Black female-led organizations to partner with Girls For A Change and do the same. Black girls have been underserved and underrepresented for far too long. They face multiple barriers including stereotypes and negative perceptions from an early age, racism in the classroom and beyond, and harsh discipline that leads to push out. They also see few role models who look like them in their school and communities and struggle in the digital divide due to lack of access.

Girls For A Change programs exist to break these barriers by offering empowerment, access, and opportunity. What better way to help the next generation of leaders than offer a college scholarship to help reduce the financial burden? Scholarships can be between $1,000 and $10,000 per year to your alma mater or to a certification program you feel strongly about. Businesses wanting to learn more can join an information call on Thursday, August 13th. Learn more and register here.

About The Ezer Agency:

The Ezer Agency, formally known as Altimese Nichole Enterprise, LLC ( ANE, LLC), specializes in digital brand strategy and development, public relations, and paid social media advertising for an array of entrepreneurs and businesses. Embracing the reality that one approach doesn't fit all, The Ezer Agency strives to showcase powerful brand storytelling to drive impact and human connection in a digital landscape.

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