Career and Professional Development Programming

BPACF Scholarships Program

The mission of the Black Professionals Association Charitable Foundation (BPACF) is to create opportunities for African American professionals by providing scholarship, leadership and career development. Our vision is to be a catalyst that prepares and develops emerging professionals, celebrates distinguished leaders and elevates our community.
BPACF has a suite of workforce and professional development offerings available to emerging youth, community partners, local companies and businesses. The continuum encourages and supports efforts to identify and develop talent, and diversify our region’s workforce. BPACF hosts a variety of events, services and programs throughout the year that are all a part of our Professional Development Continuum, putting the organization in frequent contact with dynamic college students, recent graduates and young professionals.
Each year, BPACF serves between 150 to 200 college students from Northeast Ohio. More than 70 % of our program participants are considered low to moderate income (LMI) youth. Over the last five years, more than 60 % of our program participants were “first generation” college students.

BPACF provides scholarships to a cohort of 40-50 college students each year. Scholarships range from $500 to $1,000 per student and participants may attend the college/institution of their choice.  BPACF Scholars are given priority for access to BPACF’s Career Connect Internship Program. Program participants will also receive career advisement, professional development training and mentoring from executives in specific fields. Email blasts are provided to scholars monthly with additional opportunities, information and advice. Priority is given to students with financial need, based on family size and annual income as well as to students who are “first-generation” college students. The formal definition of a first-generation college student is a student whose parent(s) did not complete a four-year college degree.

A series of open, honest dialogues about the challenges of career and leadership development from the perspective of minority professionals, for high school students interested in specific industries. The discussions are hosted by a BPACF past honoree or Board Member, to keep the dialogue experience-based. The goal is to encourage young and minority professionals to develop the “soft” skills and workplace acumen that will advance their career and leadership capacity.

This series is a group of events that encourage dozens of local youth towards a commitment to college completion, academic success and career advancement. The series also enables scholars to meet one another and top executives from Northeast Ohio, and learn more about their career path.
The series includes the following events:

Career Connect is a workforce development initiative of BPACF to enhance career opportunities for minority professionals from Northeast Ohio up to age 24. Individuals selected to participate in this unique program are matched with a paid internship that closely aligns with their college major. Program participants also receive innovative professional development with “lunch and learn” sessions and mentoring from local executives, BPACF board members and volunteers. Local businesses, entrepreneurs and corporations partner with BPACF, to acquire new talent from our pool of program participants.

BPACF hosts a semi-annual networking mixer, known as our Night Out Series, to encourage and foster an environment for professional network-building to take place. For many young and minority professionals, networking is critical to career advancement.

This quarterly series offers training, development and guidance to young and minority professionals who have an interest in serving in a civic leadership capacity, on a board or as an elected official in Northeast Ohio.

Throughout the history of the organization, BPACF has saluted a member of the community as the Black Professional of the Year (BPOY). The BPOY award is presented at our Annual Scholarship & Awards Gala held in the fall. This signature fundraiser draws a crowd of between 500 to 700 attendees. Funding from the gala supports the Emerging Professionals Programs.

Scholarships For Students

College is expensive. Scholarships help reduce the cost of higher education. For a list of scholarship opportunities, click here.