Education Funding Opportunities

LAST MILE EDUCATION FUND boosts North Texas biotech and STEM students 

Written by Mindia Whittier

College Students in North Texas will receive financial support to ensure a diverse future workforce.

Last Mile Education Fund recently announced a first-of-its-kind fund that will increase access to biotech careers for North Texas students from low-income households to rapidly join the biotech workforce.

The North Texas Biotech Workforce Fund is a $100,000 regional fund in support of students pursuing biotech and related STEM degrees in 26 designated North Texas counties. Qualified students can access the fund on a rolling basis to support their educational progress and overcome unexpected financial obstacles. Each student is considered on a case-by-case basis and will receive customized funding to facilitate their success.

The Last Mile Education Fund invests in degree attainment for students in high-demand STEM disciplines. The Fund offers a disruptive approach to both social inequity and increasing diversity in tech and engineering fields by addressing critical gaps in financial support for low-income underrepresented students within reach of a degree.

Oftentimes, students facing adverse financial conditions are forced to slow down or even abandon their pursuit of a college degree, which is detrimental to students, their families, and their communities. Last Mile identifies students close to the finish line in their chosen field, and unlike traditional scholarships, takes a broad investment approach – providing agile, just-in-time support for challenges they face beyond their control, and incubating them to be the next generation of innovators.

Last Mile Education Fund is a fiscally-sponsored project of the Digital Harbor Foundation.

“We know that students are balancing many priorities in pursuing a biotech career, which is why Last Mile takes an abundance approach to investing in students,” said Ruthe Farmer, Founder and CEO of the Last Mile Education Fund. “Our funds can be used to cover a broad array of costs from a car repair to food to family expenses – anything that is a barrier to their success.” 

This will be the first geographically focused fund offered by Last Mile and is initially supported by a grant from Lyda Hill Philanthropies. Students eligible to apply must meet the following criteria: 

  • Reside in the United States
  • Attending an eligible two- or four-year institution in North Texas 
  • In pursuit of a career in biotech or related STEM field 
  • Able to demonstrate financial need

Students in need can apply for the fund at www.lastmile-ed.org/ntxbiotech.

About the author

Mindia Whittier