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Spelman students win $1 million in Goldman Sachs competition for HBCUs

A team of five Spelman College sophomores won a $1 million grant for their university and took home the top honors from a four- month long financial case study competition hosted by Goldman Sachs. Britney Kwakye, Gia Tejeda, Whitney Williams, Anisah Thomas and Caroline Whitfield faced stiff competition against 120 first and second-year HBCU students from across the country. 

“The students who represented Spelman in the Goldman Sachs Market Madness competition demonstrated mastery of their concept, preparedness, tenacity and creativity,” said Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D., president of Spelman. “We are proud of the success of the winning team and all of those who participated. As an institution born out of the will to educate Black women, Spelman applauds their success. This competition is a perfect example of providing our students with life- changing opportunities.”

Competition focused on financial case study

The subject of the case study competition was Proctor & Gamble – a multinational consumer goods corporation. Goldman Sachs professionals instructed participants in finance fundamentals for four months. At the completion of instruction, each team of five presented a strategic financial solution in response to the case study. Grant rewards for participating HBCUs ranged from $250,000 to $1 million based on the students’ performance. Each student also received a $10,000 education stipend at the completion of the competition. 

Goldman Sachs created the initiative as part of the company’s $25 million commitment to support and invest in the power of HBCUs. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, trailblazers founded and developed HBCUs in an environment of legal segregation.” By providing access to higher education, they contributed substantially to the progress Black Americans made in improving their status.” Yet, HBCUs are historically underfunded by both private and public funding sources. 

Notably, HBCU grads account for 25% of all Black STEM degree holders, and many HBCU students express a deeper feeling of support from their scholastic community when they attend an HBCU. Spelman College is among the most prestigious of HBCUs and boasts a long list of influential alumnialumnae. Movers and shakers from Spelman include Stacey Abrams, Bernice King and Dr. Georgia Dwelle. 

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