During her time at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), Altimese Nichole found it difficult to juggle school work, living on her own and navigating the requirements to receive financial aid. Now a successful owner of the communications company, The Ezer Agency (formerly known as Altimese Nichole Enterprise, LLC), she wants to pay it forward and support Black entrepreneurs who are doing the same.

Amongst times of civil unrest, she wanted to give back to the future leaders of Richmond’s Black community. Altimese has partnered with us to fulfill her commitment!

“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

At Girls For A Change (GFAC), we aim to empower Black girls and girls of color to visualize their bright futures and potential through discovery, development, innovation and social change in their communities. This $1K scholarship will be given to a VCU student and is renewable up to 5 years during a girl’s time at school. The scholarship will be offered to girls who participate in the Girl Ambassador Program (GAP), a workforce development program for High School girls designed to help prepare them for the future of work.

To apply, applicants must be a rising freshman attending VCU or have received early acceptance. Applicants must also submit a 500-1500 word essay outlining their goals, life vision and the importance of the scholarship to them. 

“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

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. This partnership between GFAC and The Ezer Agency exists to break these barriers by offering empowerment, access, and opportunity.
Looking for a way to give back to your community? 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.