Meet the 3 Recipients of the Beyoncé x Lorraine Schwartz GIA Scholarship
Originally intended for two Black aspiring jewelry professionals, three individuals will have their gemology education fully funded.
Now, a few lucky soon-to-be GIA students can call Beyoncé Knowles-Carter theirs.
Thanks to the pop star, Schwartz, and the Gemological Institute of America, three promising Black professionals can pursue their graduate gemologist diplomas and know they were chosen by Queen Bey herself.
The Beyoncé Knowles-Carter x Lorraine Schwartz GIA Scholarship funds full tuition via distance education, as well as fees, equipment, and travel expenses, for the required on-campus lab class component.
The scholarships are valued at more than $20,000.
In a statement, GIA explained the scholarships are “rooted in the understanding that education builds opportunity that can lead to generational wealth.”
It was this belief that led Schwartz, arguably the leading independent designer when it comes to outfitting celebrities, to create the scholarship in honor of her longtime friend and client Knowles-Carter.
Announced earlier this year, GIA matched the scholarship for what originally was to be a total of two full rides.
Schwartz said, “It’s an honor to be part of this life-changing moment for these two young professionals; even more so because it’s in Beyoncé’s name, who has been my friend, muse, and the canvas for which I show my jewelry on for the last 20 years.
“Her work for the Black community is without limit and her efforts have inspired me and made me extremely proud to be her friend and partner on this initiative. Both recipients are so passionate about furthering their education and jumpstarting their futures—not only for themselves, but for their communities and for the generations to follow.”
Knowles-Carter personally selected the scholarship winners, but then decided two wasn’t enough.
She said, “I was impressed with their passion and the knowledge of gems that so many applicants displayed. I am praying that this is just the beginning of opening more doors to diversity and raw inspiration in the jewelry industry.”
The songstress has funded a third full-ride scholarship.
WATCH: The Scholarship Winners Are Announced
The three recipients are: Audriana Osborne, Shelton Bradford, and Kulla Jatani.
Each wrote essays in their applications that spoke of their passion for gems and jewelry and how they would like to increase Black representation in the industry.
A native of Montgomery, Alabama, Osborne is interested in the intersection of creativity and her current field, legal advocacy.
From Lake Forest, California, Bradford is following his love of the science and symbolism behind gemstones to learn a trade and start his own business.
Seattle’s Jatani has a creative interest in jewelry and hopes to develop her technical skills with an eye on a potential storefront of her own.
GIA President and CEO Susan Jacques said, “The global gem and jewelry industry is fused together by specialized expertise and diversity of experiences, voices and differing backgrounds. All of these help to foster creativity, relevance and ultimately success. Diversity is essential for us to continue to thrive well into the future.
“We are honored to have worked with Beyoncé and Lorraine to create educational opportunities that can transform the course of a life—and for it to benefit three people, makes it all that more special. Congratulations to Audriana, Shelton and Kulla—we are excited to have you join us on this special journey and we welcome you to GIA!”
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