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‘Black Panther’ cast surprise student with $250K college scholarship

At Hollywood Reporter’s 2018 Women in Entertainment gala on Wednesday, “Black Panther” superstars Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyong’o and Danai Gurira awarded one lucky student a full ride to college.

» RELATED: 5 things to know about ‘Black Panther’

Seventeen-year-old Kalis Coleman, who is part of THR’s Women in Entertainment Mentorship Program, is the first winner of the new Black Panther Scholarship.

She earned a $250,000 full ride to the Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.

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With the scholarship, created by Walt Disney Studios, Coleman hopes to take the next step to become a pediatric dermatologist, according to Hollywood Reporter.

» RELATED: These are the top records ‘Black Panther’ has smashed so far

“We know that if we want to live in a world that looks more like Wakanda, the first step is you invest in women and girls,” Gurira told the crowd.

While the THR program is in its ninth year, this is the first year Disney has funded a $250,000 Black Panther scholarship. 

» RELATED: ‘Black Panther’: Five things to know about the movie’s ties to metro Atlanta

The yearlong mentorship program selects 18 girls from underserved communities in Los Angeles, all of whom receive a $10,000 scholarship. Six girls are awarded full-ride scholarships. While the program is in its ninth year, this is the first year Disney has funded a $250,000 Black Panther scholarship. 

“I would like to thank my parents who birthed me, who made me who I am today,” Coleman said. “I just want to stand and say this is for girls who live in Compton, who live in Inglewood, and this is for girls and men who face adversaries. I just want to say that we can do it and it is possible.”

About the Author

Fiza Pirani is a web producer and writer for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. She is also currently investigating immigrant and refugee mental health stigma and health care access as a recipient of the Rosalynn Carter Fellowship for Mental Health Journalism.

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