Beyoncé is all about uplifting Black people and the “Run The World” singer has awarded three scholarships to three Black aspiring jewelers.
Queen Bey partnered with custom jewelry designer Lorraine Schwartz for the creation of scholarships for aspiring gemologists to attend the Gemological Institute of America. The institute offers courses that cover the different facets of jewelry manufacturing and how to evaluate diamonds, pearls and stones.
As part of the initiative, the students received $20K scholarships that will cover the costs of equipment, lab courses and other fees. The scholarship recipients are Alabama native Audriana Osborne, Kulla Jatani from Seattle, and Shelton Bradford from California. The Grammy Award-winning singer explained that she hopes this is just the beginning for more African Americans entering the jewelry business.
“I was impressed with their passion and the knowledge of gems that so many applicants displayed. I am praying that this is just the beginning of opening more doors to diversity and raw inspiration in the jewelry industry,” the “Survivor” creator revealed in a statement to Alabama’s WSFA 12 News.
Following an intense application process, winners were notified that they were selected for the scholarships during a Zoom call on April 19.
“I’m so full of gratitude. I’m honored, and I’m so excited for the opportunity. The hope for me is to absolutely learn all I possibly can and fuse the knowledge I have now and the career I have now with a career in the jewelry industry,” said Audriana Osborne, one of the three students who was personally selected by Beyoncé.
Schwartz, who has designed jewelry for the Destiny’s Child frontwoman for over 20 years, said Bey told friends last year that all she wanted from her friends for her birthday was for them to support Black-owned businesses in any way they could. Schwartz then pitched the idea of the scholarship.
“Her work for the Black community is without limit and her efforts have inspired me and made me extremely proud to be her friend and partner on this initiative,” she added.
Take a look at the scholarship recipients on the following page discussing their future plans in the gemology business with Schwartz.
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