Beyoncé wants to see more diversity in the jewelry industry so she and Lorraine Schwartz teamed up to award three scholarships for a young Black student to study at the Gemology Institute of America (GIA) with tuition and expenses paid in full, for a total of more than $20,000 each.
The intense application process came to an end on April 19 when the winners were notified that they were selected for the scholarship during a Zoom call. Oprah Daily participated in the process by watching it all unfold virtually.
Beyoncé and Jay Z are so excited about the scholarship that they decided to personally fund a third scholarship for 35-year-old Kulla Jatani, a refugee from Nairobi who relocated to Seattle, Washington with her family when she was 6 years old. At the age of 12, she started making her own jewelry as a hobby.
“I was impressed with their passion and the knowledge of gems that so many applicants displayed,” Beyoncé said of all three winners in a statement. “I am praying that this is just the beginning of opening more doors to diversity and raw inspiration in the jewelry industry.”
Audriana Osborne, a 24-year-old from Montgomery, Alabama, is excited to receive her 3rd degree at GIA – she currently has a Bachelor’s from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, and a law degree from Howard University. “Growing up in Montgomery, I saw lots of Black professionals in different creative industries. I would love to contribute to be a part of that representation. I feel so blessed and honored to have this responsibility…to carry on the torch, so that maybe other Black people will be looking at this scholarship and think ‘Hey, maybe I can do that!'” she exclaimed.