Thurgood Marshall College Fund Scholars

*Read eligibility requirements and FAQs to see HOW you might qualify

*Read eligibility requirements and FAQs to see HOW you might qualify

The Apple HBCU Scholars Program is just one element of the $40 million partnership between Apple and Thurgood Marshall College Fund announced earlier this year. (Photo Courtesy of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund)

WASHINGTON, Aug. 25, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) today launched the application process for the inaugural year of the Apple HBCU Scholars Program, the largest and most comprehensive scholarship effort in HBCU history. Thirty successful undergraduate student recipients will be awarded sizable scholarships and receive year-long mentorships by Apple employees to include a paid internship at Apple headquarters next summer. The scholarship program is open to students in their final year of study from all of the nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and Predominately Black Institutions (PBI).

“There are ‘scholarships’ and then there are ‘scholarship programs,’” said TMCF President & CEO Johnny C. Taylor, Jr. “Apple has made an historic investment in a scholarship program that will transform the lives of HBCU star students by not only removing the financial barriers to college attendance, but by providing them additional non-financial program elements like Apple mentors and summer internships. These Apple HBCU Scholars will be the future tech industry leaders.”

The Apple HBCU Scholars Program is the first of several programs under the new Apple and TMCF Diversity Initiative. In March, Apple and TMCF announced a partnership to identify, develop and harness talent from the nation’s community of HBCU’s. The over $40 million multi-year commitment from Apple is the largest and most comprehensive corporate investment ever given exclusively for students and faculty of four-year HBCUs. The multi-year commitment includes funding to build a talent database, internships for high achieving students, exposure to Apple’s campus and work environment, and funding of faculty innovation grants focused on developing successful ways to accelerate HBCU students into the tech field. Through TMCF’s entrepreneurial division, select students who have desires to build businesses using technology will have an opportunity to attend Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference and discover new pathways to successful entrepreneurship through developing new ideas and new apps.

This program is about exposing gifted students from HBCU’s to a career in technology. We’re big believers that innovation will be strongest when talented people from diverse backgrounds are part of the creative process,” said Denise Young Smith, Apple’s Vice President of Worldwide Human Resources. “That’s why we’re so proud to be partnering with TMCF to help us find the next generation of innovators.”

The Scholars Program will provide students with a diverse and valuable set of learning and personal growth opportunities that include: a scholarship up to $25,000 for their senior year of studies; a summer internship at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, California; participation in a year-round development program to prepare for post-graduation careers; pairing with an Apple employee mentor during students’ senior year; the opportunity to serve as Ambassadors on their HBCU campuses to build awareness for the Apple and TMCF Diversity Initiative; the opportunity to attend TMCF’s Annual Leadership Institute in Washington, DC in November 2015; and participation in the Apple HBCU Immersion experience in Cupertino, California during the spring of 2016.

The application process is open now and will close on September 18, 2015. For more information on the Apple HBCU Scholars Program and eligibility requirements visit For information on the TMCF Apple Diversity Initiative, visit and follow @TMCF_HBCU on Twitter.

TMCF is named for the U.S. Supreme Court’s first African-American Justice. Established in 1987, TMCF supports and represents nearly 300,000 students attending its 47 member-schools that include publicly-supported Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), medical schools and law schools. Through its scholarships and programs, TMCF plays a key role in preparing the leaders of tomorrow. For more information on TMCF, visit

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SOURCE Thurgood Marshall College Fund


Judicial Tenure Commission Changes its Allegations Against Judge Simpson…Again

In My Humble Opinion
Guest Column by Leslie McGraw,
Spokesperson for Friends and Family of The Honorable J. Cedric Simpson

Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission 2014

Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission 2014

Allegations against the Honorable Judge J. Cedric Simpson from the Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission (JTC) seem to be somewhat of a moving target. On November 14, media was alive with what was portrayed as an inappropriate relationship between the Judge and his former intern, Ms. Crystal Vargas, based on the original complaint filed. This was alleged after he came to the accident scene of his former intern. A large number of text messages was used to substantiate the claim. The JTC became so committed to this claim that evidence of Judge Simpson acting as a mentor to Ms. Vargas, testimonies from other interns and colleagues, and the fact she had helped him on a high-profile case involving over 100,000 texts were all seen as not credible.

During the year and a half that the JTC has been investigating this, the JTC prosecution has failed to produce the texts showing that there was truly wrongdoing on the part of the Judge. Without the texts, there is no context or substance to confidently allege that he is lying about the nature of his relationship with the former intern.

Today, the JTC abandoned claims that her domestic violence was a ruse made up to justify contacts with her in July 2013. Additionally they abandoned any claims that she wasn’t the victim of physical violence. They did this after being confronted with an email sent to Judge Simpson from Ms. Vargas in July 2013 detailing a small portion of her issues with her ex boyfriend. This email clearly showed that the initial contact from Judge Simpson was out of a legitimate concern for the wellbeing of Ms Vargas and not the JTC’S unsubstantiated claims of the Domestic Violence being used as a cover for a relationship.

JTC Examiner Paul Fischer alleged that Judge Simpson lied under oath “numerous times”.  Fischer claimed Judge Simpson lied about his intentions while seeking information after his intern caused a car accident and was arrested for operating while intoxicated.

Wayne County Circuit Court and JTC Commissioner, Judge Michael Hathaway asked Fischer were there any “objective lies” included in his list of alleged misrepresentations. Fischer claimed Judge Simpson lied under oath when he said he had not had any contact with his intern between midnight and 4:00 am, the morning of her car accident. He used as evidence, a large poster, containing a chart that listed several text messages exchanged between 4:20 and 4:23 the morning of Ms. Vargas’ car accident. Fischer contended that Judge Simpson testified that he didn’t remember hearing from his former intern until her phone call. But in fact, the only time Judge Simpson previously testified under oath, was during the March 30th (Master) hearing this year. Judge Simpson was asked the following question:”On the day that she was — on the morning she was arrested, did you have any contact with her between 3:30 and 4:00 that morning?” The JTC ‘s own evidence proves the answer is still NO. That was and is a truthful statement.

So now the smoking gun has now morphed from an alleged inappropriate relationship to an alleged lie under oath. Alleging that the Judge lied under oath without checking the transcript was not only irresponsible, but quite possibly yet another intentional misrepresentation. In his final argument, Fischer said that “a Judge who lies under oath is unfit to be a Judge.” Unfortunately, the fitness of an attorney or examiner who lies under oath has not been clarified by the JTC.

Examiners for the JTC as well as Judge Simpson’s attorney, Ken Mogill addressed the 9-member bench at the Oral Arguments Hearing at the JTC offices on Monday morning in Detroit. Although Michigan is one of the states that has had the highest number of African American Judges, currently, there are no African American appointees. The 2014 commission is comprised of appointee Melissa Spickler, Crawford County Judge Monte J. Burmeister, Oakland County Judge Nancy Grant, former Wayne County Prosecutor Nancy Diehl, Michigan Court of Appeals Judge David Sawyer, Kent County District Court Judge Pablo Cortes, attorney Thomas Ryan, appointee David Fischer and Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Michael Hathaway.

So, what’s next? Examiner Paul Fischer requested removal from the bench as well as over $7,000 in damage costs. Attorney Ken Mogill argued that no punishment is necessary.

In the upcoming weeks and possibly months, a number of processes will occur before a decision is made. The JTC will recommend a punishment to the Michigan Supreme Court, which has the final say. In the meantime, the public is encouraged to direct comments, questions, and all other correspondence to and/or join the Google+ page for Judge Simpson Info.

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