Joining a growing effort to support people in the coffee industry who are under-represented or lacking resources, San Rafael, California-based Boot Coffee Campus has launched a scholarship program that will give recipients the opportunity to participate in any Boot educational program or SCA Coffee Skills Program courses at no cost. It’s a value of up to approximately $6,000.
Any roaster, barista, or sensory professional can apply for the full-tuition scholarship, which includes course registration and materials for up to one week of training, exams, SCA certificate fees and lunch during each day of the course. Applications are being accepted through Thursday, Feb. 28, and the scholarship recipients will be announced in March.
“We have created a diverse selection committee from our team and the communities of coffee professionals who are eligible for the scholarships,” Marcus Young, campus director for Boot Coffee, told Daily Coffee News. “The committee will evaluate each application against the specific criteria for the scholarship, with particular attention being paid to the ways they will take the education gained through the scholarship to grow their organization and increase their impact, empower their local community, and empower communities of women in the coffee industry.”
The selection committee will award three scholarships — one for each of the following categories:
- The #ShesTheRoaster Scholarship encourages self-identifying women and non-binary individuals in the coffee industry to attend professional coffee roasting training.
- The Producing Country Scholarship will honor one individual from a producing country who seeks to raise the quality of coffee, as well as the quality of life for producers in their community.
- The Social Enterprise Scholarship will be presented to an individual working with an NGO, not-for-profit, or certified B Corporation.
Young said the initiative is simply reflective of the organization’s desire to act upon a strong social mission.
“In the past, we [at Boot] have supported the educational efforts of coffee professionals who inspire us, but who lack the resources to make training a reality,” said Young. “Most recently, Daniel Sibomana from Rwanda, who I know from my time launching Question Coffee there, attended both Roasting and Sensory courses as a pro-bono student. With our unique campus environment, we recognize that we can extend these successful efforts.”
After witnessing the positive impact that this experience had on Sibomana and his coffee career, the Boot team decided to formalize the program.
Said Young, “Through professional education, I believe that there is a tremendous opportunity to elevate everyone in the coffee industry, both in the classroom and the lab, and, more importantly, when they return to their local communities and businesses.”