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A Scholarship Program Dedicated to HBCU Students

At Witt O'Brien's, diversity is key for high-performing teams – and building resilience. Multiple perspectives make for stronger solutions. This program is designed to encourage and develop Black leaders with a career interest in resilience: helping communities and businesses prepare for disasters, respond effectively, and recover as quickly as possible. Scholarship awards are reserved for students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), in recognition of their unique educational role.


This scholarship combines a financial award with on-the-job experience. If selected, you’ll receive a $5,000 scholarship award and a paid $5,000 internship with Witt O’Brien’s. This will help with your post-graduation job search, providing both professional credentials and personal references. The summer internship may be completed in one of Witt O’Brien’s offices, at a client location or virtually, depending on COVID-19 restrictions and work requirements.

Applications for 2021 are now closed and will resume for 2022 at a later date.


Qualified candidates should:

  • Be a third-year black student at an HBCU
  • Exhibit interest in a career that builds resilience, such as emergency management, urban planning, crisis communications, engineering, environmental science, public administration, sustainable development, or related fields
  • Display leadership through participation in community service, extracurricular, or other activities
  • Demonstrate a GPA over 3.2
Selection Process

Applications for 2021 are now closed and will resume for 2022 at a later date. 

Once the application period is re-opened eligible students must submit an application with the following materials:

  • Copy of Transcript
  • Academic Letter of Recommendation
  • Resume
  • Color Photo (to be used in promotional material if selected)
  • Essay 1 (Max 500 words): How do you plan to apply your current field of study to increase your community's resilience?
  • Essay 2 (Max 250 words): How will this scholarship and internship help you achieve your career goals?

Award selection will be based on a combination of both academic and professional achievement, as well as the quality of supporting application materials. Students who demonstrate a passion for resilience and have a proven track record of bringing positive impact to their school and local community are encouraged to apply.

Selected candidates will be contacted by email and will be provided a schedule for a video interview. The video interview is the final consideration step. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to be a U.S. citizen?

Can I submit my application via email?
No, you must fill out and submit the application online via our website.

Do I need to send an official transcript?
Yes, if you cannot obtain an official transcript from your school, you can send an unofficial transcript with your application. However, if you are selected as a finalist, an official transcript will be required.

What if my major is not directly related to the field of resilience?
Don’t worry! We accept all majors. Greater emphasis will be placed on your essay submissions.

Do I need to complete the Witt O’Brien’s internship in order to receive the scholarship funds?
Yes, you must participate in the summer internship in order to receive the $5,000 scholarship award.

What are my options if COVID-19 makes a workplace internship unsafe?
We are closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and will, if necessary, offer our internship experience remotely.

Contact Us

For more information or if you have additional questions, please email us.