Fund for Advancement of Minorities Through Education
To provide African American students access to college preparatory education at participating independent schools in the Greater Pittsburgh area through the provision of need based financial assistance. FAME also provides support to scholars and alumni throughout their academic careers. Ultimately, through this work, FAME's intention is to increase the number of African American leaders in the Greater Pittsburgh region.
The concept of FAME developed in the early 1990's out of concern for the appallingly low number of African Americans in leadership in the Greater Pittsburgh area and the sparse number of minority students enrolled in area independent schools. After leaders in the independent school community at that time became familiar with a scholarship program in Cincinnati, the Fund for Independent Schools of Cincinnati (FISC), whose mission was to "help develop a new generation of Black leadership in Greater Cincinnati," FAME decided to establish a similar program in this region. Hoping to simultaneously respond to the racial disparities in Pittsburgh's independent schools and within the leadership and workforce, FAME founders established a scholarship fund for students with financial need to attend one of five participating private schools. Those schools were The Ellis School, Sewickley Academy, Shady Side Academy, St. Edmund's Academy and Winchester Thurston School. For the first time since its inception, FAME welcomed a new school into its consortium in 2010: The Kiski School.
When FAME began during the 1994-1995 school year there were five scholars, one per school. In 1999, the first FAME Scholar graduated from high school and went on to college. The number of scholars and the significant amount of aid that FAME contributes to the funding partnership has grown steadily since the program's inception. This year FAME has an enrollment of 66 scholars -- over ten times that of its original five. In addition, 76 students have graduated from high school as FAME Scholars, all going on to college.