HomeEducationRonald V. Dellums Memorial SMART Scholarship

Ronald V. Dellums Memorial SMART Scholarship

CVV News l November 15, 2023

About the Dellums SMART Scholarship 

The Department of Defense (DoD) is the largest employer of STEM professionals in the federal government, with nearly 300,000 civilian scientists and engineers. The Science, Mathematics, and Research for Transformation (SMART) Scholarship-for-Service Program is a combined educational and workforce development opportunity for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) students funded by the DoD.

In 2023, the SMART Program expanded the scholarship program eligibility by introducing the Ronald V. Dellums Memorial SMART Scholarship (Dellums SMART Scholarship). To honor the lifetime work of Representative Dellums, Congress established the Ronald V. Dellums Memorial SMART Scholarship, with the goal to increase participation of underrepresented students in the DoD STEM workforce. This opportunity expands the SMART scholarship opportunity to rising college freshmen who plan to pursue a bachelor’s degree in one of the 24 SMART STEM disciplines. High school seniors are eligible to apply for the Dellums SMART Scholarship.

Students seeking to attend a Historically Black College and University, Minority Institution, or Minority Serving Institution are particularly encouraged to apply. The Dellums SMART Scholarship is open to all applicants who meet the eligibility requirements.

The application is open annually from August 1 to December 1. 

What are Benefits of the Dellums SMART Scholarship? 

  • Full Tuition  
  • $30,000 Annual Stipend  
  • Summer Internships  
  • Experienced Mentor  
  • Book and Health Allowance  
  • Civilian Department of Defense Employment  

What are the Eligibility Requirements?

  • U.S. Citizen  
  • 18 Years or Older by the Completion of Student’s First College Term 
  • Rising Freshman Pursing a Bachelor’s Degree In, or Closely Related To, One of the SMART STEM Disciplines 
  • Graduate High School with a Minimum 3.0 GPA   
  • Maintain a College/University 3.0 GPA
  • Ability to Complete Summer Internships  
  • Obtain and Maintain a Security Clearance  
  • Accept Full-Time Civilian Employment with the Department of Defense, After Graduation 

If a student can produce a college transcript, they are not eligible for the Dellums SMART Scholarship, but may be eligible for the SMART Scholarship. To learn more and check your eligibility, visit the Eligibility page. 

Honoring the Life of Ronald V. Dellums: A Legacy of Change 

The Honorable Ronald V. Dellums (1935-2018), born in Oakland, CA, was a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, dedicated social worker, advocate for civil rights, and long-standing politician who served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives (1971-1998) and Mayor of Oakland (2007-2011). 

Dellums was the first African American to serve on the House Armed Services Committee as well as the first black Chairman of the committee during the 103rd Congress (1993-1995). To honor the lifetime work of Representative Ronald Dellums (CA), Congress established the Ronald V. Dellums Memorial SMART Scholarship, with the goal to increase participation of underrepresented students in the DoD STEM workforce.

Learn More

To see answers to commonly asked questions, visit the FAQ page. Still have more questions on the Dellums SMART Scholarship? Email SMART at

NAACP Launches ‘Diversity No Matter What’ Pledge for Colleges and Universities

CVV News l July 3, 2023

WASHINGTON – The NAACP calls on more than 1,600 U.S. public and private colleges and universities with selective admissions processes to commit to the “Diversity No Matter What” pledge following the Supreme Court’s extreme decisions reversing decades of precedent on affirmative action. The Pledge is an effort to ensure that higher education institutions foster environments mirroring the nation’s diversity and increase the representation of historically underrepresented students.

“Let’s be clear – Black America is in a fight for our lives. The NAACP has been at the forefront of this battle for more than a century and we’re not backing down,” said NAACP President & CEO Derrick Johnson.

“It is our hope that our nation’s institutions will stand with us in embracing diversity, no matter what. Regardless, the NAACP will continue to advocate, litigate, and mobilize to ensure that every Black American has access to the resources and opportunities they need to thrive.”

The NAACP has long advocated for policies and regulations at every level of government to guarantee a first-rate education for all Black students. The “Diversity No Matter What” pledge outlines various steps that schools can take to create and sustain a culture of inclusion, belonging, and respect for the benefit of all students — and therefore our society — such as:

Eliminating racially biased entrance examinations and adopting a holistic approach that considers every aspect of an applicant’s background, achievements, and potential.

Supporting the matriculation and retention of low-income and first-generation students through outreach programs, scholarships, mentoring, and academic support services.

Recruiting diverse faculty and staff who can serve as role models and mentors for our students while contributing to our curriculum and research.

Creating a welcoming, and supportive campus climate that values diversity, stands for equity, and advances inclusion in all aspects of academic and social life.

Striving towards greater inclusivity by ending the utilization of legacy admissions which give an advantage to children and family members of institutional alumni or donors.

Partnering with and supporting Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal Colleges, Hispanic Serving Institutions, Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions, and other Minority Serving Institutions that have deeply rooted race-conscious missions.

“When a college or university commits to our ‘Diversity No Matter What’ pledge, that signifies a huge stride toward future insurance that every student, regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, religion, or socioeconomic status, has an equal opportunity to learn, grow, and thrive at a higher education institution,” said Dr. Ivory Toldson, NAACP Director of Education Innovation and Research. “Protecting diversity within higher education and beyond cannot be about a political party or affiliation. This is about our ability to correct the nation’s original sin and level the playing field to maintain and expand our diverse learning environments to propel our society forward towards a brighter future.”

The NAACP also launched a “Diversity No Matter What” petition for their members and leaders across the country to sign. You can read and sign the petition at: Diversity No Matter What | NAACP.

College and university administrators can sign the “Diversity No Matter What” pledge.

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Central Valley Voice
Central Valley Voice
Felicia Roberts took an idea gathered a few people to reached into a minority community to highlight the positive, using a minority newspaper the Central Valley Voice. Roberts was joined by her sisters Carolyn Williams, Alleashia Thomas, niece Hermonie Lynn Williams, nephew Ron Williams, cousin Jerald Lester, Jay Slaffey, Greg Savage, Tim Daniels and the late J Denise Fontaine. Each individual played an important role in the birth of the newspapers. Since, then many have stood strong behind the success of the newspapers and its goal to fill a void in the Central Valley community The Central Valley Voice published their 1st issue in November 1991. Its purposed was to highlight the achievements of minorities in the Central Valley. The Voice focuses on the accomplishments of African Americans and Hispanics giving young people role models while diminishing the stereotypical pictures of gangs, crime and violence that permeate the minority communities. Since 1991, the Central Valley Voice has provided an important voice for the minority community throughout the Madera, Merced. Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties.

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