By Javonni Hampton
Florida A&M University (FAMU) student Jalynn McDuffey is the 2022 recipient of the Gucci North America Changemakers Impact Fund and Scholars Program Scholarship. McDuffey is a sophomore broadcast journalism student from Miami.
She said the Gucci Changemaker Scholarship is a dream come true and a program she has been interested in since high school. As part of the program, McDuffey and the other 11 Changemakers receive an academic scholarship for $20,000 in addition to mentorship and virtual internship opportunities.
“To be able to be a changemaker for black art is a dream come true. I remember growing up and drawing different art pieces throughout high school. I knew I was talented, but I was just waiting for the opportunity for me to showcase my talents,” said McDuffey, who attended an event in Detroit as part of the program.
“I will be using the funds to support my educational endeavors. I hope to join or create new organizations on campus to foster creativity among black men and women. Winning this scholarship doesn’t just represent me, but it represents FAMU.”
More than 200 organizations and 400 students applied to the program with 12 non-profits and 11 additional students awarded funding.
After graduation, McDuffey plans to continue pursuing her passion. She’s interested in becoming a concept artist for movies to help illustrate and bring certain anime ideas to life.
The Gucci North America Changemakers program launched in 2019. Since then the program has awarded annual impact grants to support community organizations focused on increasing inclusion and diversity across communities and within the fashion industry.
According to Gucci, the fashion giant has awarded over 50 students with almost $1 million in scholarships as well as over 40 non-profit organizations with almost $2 million in grants. Florida A&M University is committed to offering students the necessary skills and tools to pursue their unique paths within the design and fashion industries.
Antoine Phillips, vice president of Brand and Culture Engagement at Gucci America, said it has been an honor leading Gucci Changemakers North America as we continue to set the industry standard for impactful and creative community-focused initiatives.
“These talented young people and non-profit organizations inspire the Gucci community every single day to dream bigger than ever before,” Phillips said. “Through this work, we are focused not only on amplifying their stories of impact but inspiring lasting change through the power of arts and culture.”