Aquarium launches 2nd African American Scholar program and invites students to apply

Newton Zachary Hood, a recipient of an award from the program’s first year, visits the Aquarium’s behind-the-scenes abalone lab.
Photo credit: Aquarium of the Pacific

The Aquarium of the Pacific is now accepting applications for its African American Scholar program, which is now in its second year. The program awards funds to support African American students who demonstrate a commitment to studies related to careers in the aquarium field, including ocean education, animal husbandry, water quality, building maintenance or facilities, microbiology, and business management. Through this program, the Aquarium hopes to bring meaningful opportunities in the marine sciences to African American students and to bring diverse minds to solving the issues facing our planet and its inhabitants.

“The Aquarium of the Pacific is committed to creating pathways for African American students to pursue careers in our field, and it has been very gratifying for us to collaborate with the first group of scholars from this program as they engage in the Aquarium’s work. This has included developing new initiatives and serving as a platform for the scholars to connect with other scientists and the next generation of students,” said Anthony Brown, chief financial officer at the Aquarium of the Pacific. “As the African American Scholar program enters its second year, I hope to see an even larger pool of candidates and encourage other zoos and aquariums to undertake similar efforts to diversify our industry.”

In addition to receiving scholarship funds through this program, the recipients are invited to engage in various Aquarium programs. Past recipients have written for the Aquarium’s member magazine and served as judges in an environmental film festival for high school students. At a symposium this fall, the scholars will have more opportunities to meet with Aquarium staff members, hear guest scientists speak about their careers, and connect with high school students from the Long Beach Unified School District.

Applications for the 2022 African American Scholar Program are due by December 31, 2021. Recipients will be notified by February 1, 2022, and awards will be presented to the individuals selected for the program at the Aquarium’s twentieth annual African American Festival on February 27, 2022. For program details and submission guidelines, please visit

This program is possible thanks to funding from individuals and corporate supporters, including Aquarium Board members, staff members, The Boeing Company, and Poms & Associates.

“Poms & Associates is delighted to support the Aquarium of the Pacific’s African American Scholar Program, which not only provides opportunities to African American students committed to the marine sciences, but also encourages diversity in the field,” said David Poms, president of Poms & Associates.

The public is also invited to support the Aquarium’s African American Scholar program. Thanks to an anonymous matching gift, all donations will be matched up to $10,000 dollars. To make a donation, you can visit

Credit: The Aquarium of the Pacific.

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