Helping Migrants Achieve the American Dream

The Rising Farmworker Dream Fund (RFDF), a unique nonprofit focusing on improving the lives of U.S. farm laborers through the power and resources of business, has just announced its second annual Pre-MBA Fellowship program. As a venture philanthropy firm, RFDF seeks to invest their assets –people, money, and other resources– to produce a positive social return and create sustainable business solutions for farm workers and their families.

“One of our initiatives is increasing the number of sons & daughters of farmworkers attending top business schools,” says founder Martin Curiel. “Our belief is that the more members of the farmworking community that understand and embrace business principles, values, and skills, the more resources will flow to this under resourced, disadvantaged group.”

To help qualified candidates pursue the MBA degree, RFDF offers financial assistance and mentorship resources. This year, they are offering a $10,000 fellowship to candidates applying to a graduate business school in 2008, and $500-$2,500 fellowships for college juniors and seniors to pay for MBA admissions preparation fees.

For the Pre-MBA Fellowship Award, preference will be given to applicants of “Top 30” business schools, and the award winner will receive a $10,000 scholarship to help pay for MBA education. Runner-Up Awards receive elite mentoring resources and financial assistance to pay for GMAT test/preparation fees.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Son/daughter of a farmworker and/or have worked in the agricultural sector as farm laborer for minimum of five years.
  • Willingness to commit a minimum of 50 community service hours within the farm working community (scope of community service project to be determined later).
  • Application is to a top business school with an expected graduation date in 2011.

The $500-$2500 MBA Preparation Fellowship Award is for college juniors and seniors, or graduate students intending to pursue an MBA degree in the next five years. Money can be used only for eligible activities related to preparing for MBA admissions, and students must apply to business school by 2013. Runner-Up Awards will receive elite mentoring resources from at least one graduate of a top business school.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Son/daughter of a farmworker and/or have worked in the agricultural sector as farm laborer for minimum of five years.
  • Applying to a top business school by 2013.

The deadline for the scholarships is June 1, 2008.

For more information about RFDF’s “Migrant MBA Project”, click here.

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