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PAYING IT FORWARD: Frank Baker Pays Off Tuition Balances Of 50 Spelman Students, Donates $1 Million To Seniors!

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Frank Baker is paying it forward to black women in a major way! Deets inside….

When black billionaire Robert Smith pledged to pay off students loans for the 2019 Class of Morehouse College, he challenged alumni to do the same in an effort to “take care of our own community.” 

Frank Baker - founder and managing partner of Siris, a leading private equity firm focused on investing and driving value creation in technology and telecommunications companies – just took on the challenge and he’s helping black women in a major way.

Mr. Baker and his wife, Laura Day Baker, have donated $1 million toward the establishment of a scholarship for Spelman College graduates. The Bakers are paying tuition balances of about 50 seniors who are graduating from Spelman College, the all-women historically black college in Atlanta. He has committed to continuing to spend no less than $1 million to help Spelman seniors in similar situations for the next three years.

"We are all aware of the headwinds that people of color - especially women - face in our country, the challenges of which are made even more apparent by the economic and health impact of the COVID-19 pandemic," Frank and Laura Day Baker said in a press release. "We believe it is critical that talented women finish college and confidently enter – free of undue financial stress – the initial stage of their professional careers. We hope that this gift will help lessen their financial burden as they start this promising next chapter in their lives and encourage them to persevere over life's challenges."

Frank also spoke to Forbes about his donation and why it's important:

“The people who my heart really goes out to are women in their senior year who can’t afford it anymore and have to drop out,” he said. “These are the most resilient people because if they run out of money their senior year, you know they were out of money their sophomore year and just made it work.”

“These are the women we need in the workforce. They are going to make a difference," he continued.

Graduate Gabrielle Sumpter, C'2020, was one of the first students to receive news that she would be a recipient of the new scholarship.

"To know that my remaining balance has been lifted off of me means so much," said Sumpter, who will start her career in New York this fall as an analyst for the global technology giant Accenture. "This is a testament to what it means to give back. My mom is a Spelman alumna and we continue to talk about the ways we can give back to Spelman…it means a lot that someone was willing to pour into me – not even really knowing me personally, but knowing that I am coming from an institution that believes in me and they want to believe in me as well. I don't think people realize just how much of an impact this will have on my future."

Below is a short clip of one recipient:

Loves it! Congrats to the graduating class and a major salute to those who are putting their money where their mouths are when it comes to investing in black women as we do and give SO much to the world!

Photo: Spelman

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