Ten U.S. retail employees will have a chance to make their dreams a reality through a program announced between the NRF Foundation and the University of Phoenix. The Dream BIG scholarship will award 10 current retail employees with full tuition at any University of Phoenix campus or online program, providing them the opportunity to pair education with their work experience and ambitions to pursue a wide-array of career opportunities within the retail industry. The flexibility of the degree program will allow recipients to continue to work and live at home while advancing their education.
“Whether they’re working in marketing, IT, or finance, millions of people in our industry are living proof that retail career opportunities don’t end at the cash register,” said NRF Foundation Executive Director Ellen Davis. “With over 20 million Americans eligible to apply for this scholarship, we can’t wait to hear the dreams and stories of those who hope to advance their retail career through education, and look forward to making those dreams a reality for ten dedicated people in our industry.”
“Retail employees already dream big,” said University of Phoenix Chief Business Operating Officer Barry Feierstein. “Connecting driven, professional working learners with great careers is what we do. This education partnership and the Dream BIG Scholarship represent an important development in our long-term commitment to make higher education more responsive to the needs of both our students and our employer partners. Everyone benefits from having a highly-educated and skilled workforce that can compete in an ever-increasingly connected and collaborative global economy.”
How to Apply:
Eligibility is limited to the first 1,000 qualified applicants, who must meet all admissions requirements and submit a completed application by April 9, 2013. The application includes three written essays that highlight the applicant’s educational goals, aspirations within the industry, and a personal reflection of what inspires them. The applicant must also submit a letter of recommendation from a current retail professional with knowledge of the applicant’s skills and work ethic.
How and When Winners Are Chosen:
After being narrowed down by executives at NRF and the University of Phoenix, final scholarship recipients will be chosen by a panel of retail and educational executives, chaired by Mindy Grossman, CEO of HSNi. Recipients will be notified on July 30, 2013.
As the world’s largest retail trade association and the voice of retail worldwide, NRF represents retailers of all types and sizes, including chain restaurants and industry partners, from the United States and more than 45 countries abroad. Retailers operate more than 3.6 million U.S. establishments that support one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans.