The Aquarium of the Pacific African American Scholar Program supports exceptional African American students pursuing fields of study related to the Aquarium. Through the award and engagement experience, the Aquarium hopes to lower barriers by providing both financial support for academic endeavors, and community support through networking opportunities. This program seeks to provide continued involvement in fields related to the Aquarium for deserving African American students to bring diverse minds to solving the issues facing our planet and its inhabitants.
Since 2021, the Aquarium has named 21 recipients of this scholarship. They have participated in various Aquarium programs, including writing for the member magazine, serving as judges in our high school film festival, creating films for our early childhood education partners, and serving as “Ask a Scientist” at Aquarium events and through social media. The scholars also attend in a fall symposium to strengthen their connection to the Aquarium and to each other. Symposium activities usually include opportunities to meet with Aquarium staff members, hear from a panel of STEM professionals, and connect with high school students from the Long Beach Unified School District.