BGCA LogoBoys & Girls Clubs of America and the University of Wisconsin-Madison to Provide Full Tuition Scholarships for Multicultural Arts Program

Two full-tuition scholarships for graduating high school seniors to be provided annually to eligible Boys & Girls Club members for the next three years; Renewable up to four years.

Atlanta, GA. – Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) and the University of Wisconsin-Madison will offer two full-tuition scholarships for the next three years to Boys & Girls Club members who are admitted to the university and its First Wave program. The First Wave Hip Hop and Urban Arts Learning Community is a cutting-edge multicultural artistic program that offers competitive undergraduate scholarship recipients the opportunity to live, study and create together in a close-knit, dynamic campus community. The recipients will be selected in October.

Administered by the Office of Multicultural Arts Initiatives (OMAI), the First Wave Learning Community is the first university program in the country centered on urban arts, spoken word and hip-hop culture.

“University of Wisconsin-Madison has created a truly unique cultural arts community through its First Wave program,” said Dr. Damon A. Williams, chief educational & youth development officer for BGCA. “At Boys & Girls Clubs we believe strongly in the power of the arts, and we’re so grateful to the university for offering scholarships that will empower our youth to pursue their artistic expression.”

First Wave is just one of several unique and nationally-recognized educational talent-development programs operating under the UW-Madison Office of the Vice Provost and Chief Diversity Officer’s Division of Diversity of Equity and Educational Achievement.

“We’re delighted to be in continuing partnership with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. Our institutions share goals designed to provide life-affirming, educational services to youth throughout their development and into maturity. This scholarship, which contributes to the affordability of higher education for our gifted First Wave students while using their artistic talents to enhance future generations, is such an example. Reinvesting in Wisconsin youth and those who follow in their footsteps is a reflection of the services Boys and Girls Clubs provide to youth just like our students in communities all across the nation.” said Patrick J. Sims, UW-Madison Vice Provost & Chief Diversity Officer.

Through the scholarship program, the University of Wisconsin-Madison will provide scholars a positive and supportive higher education experience by partnering with BGCA professionals to understand and respond to the needs of each scholarship recipient. The scholarship is divided into three primary pillars of support: Academics, Art, and Activism (Community Outreach/Service Learning).

As the number one advocate for youth, Boys & Girls Clubs has developed several programs for its kids and teens to encourage artistic expression and development. These creative outlets include the Digital Arts Suite and Festivals, ImageMakers National Photography Program and the National Fine Arts Exhibit Program.

About Boys & Girls Clubs of America
For more than 100 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America ( has changed and saved lives, enabling young people to achieve great futures as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Today, some 4,200 Boys & Girls Clubs serve nearly 4 million children and teens annually through Club membership and community outreach. Clubs are located in neighborhoods throughout the country and on U.S. military installations worldwide, providing a wide variety of youth development programs conducted by trained, professional staff. Key programs emphasize academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. In a Harris Survey of alumni, 54 percent said the Club saved their lives. National headquarters are located in Atlanta.

About University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Office of the Vice Provost and Chief Diversity Officer/Division of Diversity, Equity and Educational Achievement
Since its formation in 2010, the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Office of the Vice Provost and Chief Diversity Officer/Division of Diversity, Equity and Educational Achievement (OVPCDO/DDEEA) collaborates with campus and external partners to make progress toward the campus’s strategic diversity goals. By leading and fostering new partnerships and initiatives among students, faculty, teaching assistants and staff as central to an inclusive environment, the OVPCDO/DDEEA stimulates student achievement and enriching experiences for all members of the global UW-Madison community. In the spirit of the Wisconsin Idea, The OVPCDO/DDEEA also influences and improves people’s lives beyond the university by championing and safeguarding diversity as an essential focus of a great public university.