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  • Martel Sharpe

Upswing Partners with UNCF to Support The Fund II Foundation



Upswing, an online student engagement organization, is partnering with United Negro College Fund (UNCF) to provide academic support for UNCF’s Fund II Foundation – UNCF STEM Scholars Program (STEM Scholars Program), connecting STEM students with an online academic advising platform, tutoring, advising and mental health services.



“Access to quality education is critically important because it influences the trajectory of a student’s life," said Melvin Hines, co-founder and CEO of Upswing, and a former HBCU professor.


"We’re proud to partner with UNCF and their STEM Scholars Program by providing academic support services that change lives for underrepresented and minority groups across the country.”

Upswing is an Austin, Texas-based online student engagement organization focused on removing the barriers to degree equity.


Upswing understands mental health and wellness are critical, but often overlooked, components to academic success and make its Mental Health and Wellness Module available 24/7 at no cost to UNCF institutions for STEM scholars students. STEM Scholars Program scholars can address their nonacademic mental health needs with Upswing’s Mental Health & Wellness Module.


Upswing’s partnership with UNCF builds on its commitment to remove the barriers from degree equality by creating a connected college experience for underserved students. Empowering anyone who wants to improve their circumstances through education can access the necessary resources to succeed.

“This enhanced support of the UNCF STEM Scholars Program is very welcome,” said Dr. Michael L. Lomax, UNCF’s president and CEO. “We thank Upswing for its investment in our students and our mission and look forward to growing this unique partnership.”

UNCF is awarding over 500 African American undergraduate students scholarships that are pursuing careers in STEM fields through the STEM Scholars Program.


Selected scholars receive funding, internships, mentoring, and other tools to help them reach their goals throughout their entire college matriculation, assuming they maintain a certain grade point average and meet other program requirements. UNCF students will also have access to Upswing’s virtual assistant, Ana. Ana mimics a personal adviser's experience through automated nudging sequences, two-way conversational interactions and sentimental analyses. It acts as a mass communication tool to reach STEM students on their phones.



UNCF STEM Scholars can connect with advisors and tutors from the Mathematical Sciences Institute (MSI) and Upswing’s tutors through an integrated services platform to receive academic support, tutor session feedback and analyses. Tracking student success is critical for the STEM Scholars Program. UNCF has access to an easy-to-use dashboard that aggregates and summarizes usage data to track student performance, giving them in-depth knowledge to make informed decisions around student success.


UNCF plans to use Ana for mid-semester check-ins with scholars and scheduling lessons with students. Upswing will additionally connect STEM Scholars Program scholars with academic support resources such as live and online tutoring and advising, access to a virtual assistant that quickly provides answers to their questions, and a mental health module to address students’ nonacademic needs with free access to mental health and wellness resources.

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