The MGAM Scholarship Foundation

“Helping young Black women pursue educational excellence.”

Let me tell you a story…

A few days after the world erupted in protests over the death of George Floyd, I was sitting outside of my apartment building in downtown Chicago trying to wrap my head around what was going in across the country. As I sat in “my spot” and listened to the sounds of the city, I heard lots of shuffling footsteps. I stood up and walked towards the street and that was when I saw lines of Chicago Police Officers dressed in riot gear heading down Columbus Drive/Fairbanks and turning towards the Magnificent Mile/Michigan Ave. Witnessing that scene, I felt my entire spirit break and I broke down in tears. In that moment, all I wanted was a hug (from my big sister Alysia mostly, but I would have taken a hug from anyone in my inner circle), but it was early into the pandemic, and I was keeping my distance from people. So there I was, watching things implode before my eyes, and feeling heart broken and isolated.

I texted a friend that lived a couple of blocks from me and after a bit of back and forth, we agreed to meet the next day in a park a couple blocks up the street from our respective apartment buildings. As I was walking to the park that Saturday morning, I couldn’t even enjoy the beautiful Chicago Spring day because I was numb. My friend and I sat on a bench, 6 feet apart, and I just let all of my thoughts out. After about an hour and a half, I was emotionally exhausted and I just wanted to go home. With tears forming in the corners of my eyes, my friend gave me the hug I so desperately needed and we went back to our respective apartment buildings.

That next day, May 31, 2020, still numb and exhausted, I made the decision that I needed to do something – that I needed to be a change agent. I decided that I would not let this world that so often shows me as a Black Woman that it doesn’t care about Black or Brown bodies break me down. However, I wasn’t entirely sure exactly what I wanted to do. Some people make changes by attending protests. Others make changes by writing letters to their local, state and federal leaders. I just knew that doing nothing was not an option. I thought to myself “Self” (cause that’s what I call myself) – what is going to be your contribution to helping make a change?”

I decided to contribute something that touched on at least two of my passions – education and mentoring young people. That is when the idea for creating a scholarship foundation for young Black women was born because at work and in life, Black women face discrimination and systematic racism every day. Therefore, as a Black woman, I wanted to be a change agent by focusing on supporting Black women.

Melissa D. Green,
President, The MGAM Scholarship Foundation

The MGAM Scholarship Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to supporting cis and transgender Black female students in their educational pursuits.