Pearson and the SCLC offer the new Freedom and Empowerment Scholarship Program

The Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Prince George’s County and Pearson Online Academy Announce Virtual School Scholarship Program for Students Nationwide. The new Freedom and Empowerment Scholarship program will recognize young, Black, social justice advocates and others who would benefit from a full-time K-12 online education at Pearson Online Academy.

Hyattsville. MD and Columbia, MD —The Southern Christian Leadership Conference’s (SCLC) chapter in Prince George’s County, Maryland, and Pearson Online Academy, announced today a new partnership that will award fifty full-tuition scholarships to Black students across the country to attend Pearson Online Academy, a private K-12 online school from Pearson that serves students around the world.

The new Freedom and Empowerment Scholarship program rewards students who would benefit from the personalization, flexibility and safety that the full-time online school provides. Ten scholarships have been designated for students who demonstrate a passion for social justice advocacy and desire a flexible schedule to support their advocacy efforts. Applications are being accepted now and scholarship recipients will join Pearson Online Academy’s incoming student body in September.

The Southern Christian Leadership Conference is the interfaith civil rights organization that was led at its founding by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and is on the frontlines of today’s grassroots protests in communities across America. Scholarship recipients will be selected by the Prince George’s County chapter of the SCLC, working with chapters across the country to recruit scholarship applicants.

Pearson is the world’s learning company and Pearson Online Academy is headquartered in Columbia, Maryland.

Spencer Pilgrim, SCLC of Prince George’s County Board Member and Relationship Manager at Pearson, created the scholarship program and commented on a desire to support budding change makers balance a quality education and their social activism. “Being bound to a traditional school day makes it difficult for young people with outside interests to juggle both academics and the projects they’re passionate about. Online school is a great option for these students — we want to specifically help propel their social justice efforts by giving them a school with optimal flexibility.”

“Pearson’s mission is to ‘help people make progress in their lives through learning.’ Education is one of the most powerful responses to racial injustice and we are honored and humbled to partner with such an important organization as the SCLC of Prince George’s County to provide Black students across the country with the opportunity to attain a quality online school education,” commented Tom ap Simon, managing director for Pearson’s Online & Blended Learning division.

Pearson Online Academy is a full-time, international, online private school that serves students in grades K-12. In the 2019-2020 school year, 1,000 students attended the school from Iowa to Ireland and everywhere in between. Graduates have gone on to top universities and colleges and earned over $950,000 in college scholarships in the 2019-20 school year alone.

Most recently, the SCLC of Prince George’s County has participated in the March for Justice and Equity and the We Can’t Breathe Rally, while chapter president, Josephine Mourning, was added to the Prince George’s County Police Reform Task Force.

About Southern Christian Leadership Conference
The Southern Christian Leadership Conference is a nonprofit, non-sectarian, inter-faith, advocacy organization that is committed to nonviolent action to achieve social, economic, and political justice. SCLC’s focus is to educate youth and adults in the areas of personal responsibility, leadership potential, and community service; to ensure economic justice and civil rights and to eradicate racism wherever it exists. The Conference was founded in 1957, and the organization’s first president was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

About Pearson Online Academy
Pearson Online Academy, formerly International Connections Academy (iNaCA), is an accredited, online private school serving students in grades K-12 throughout the United States and abroad. Recognizing individualized instruction as the key to student academic and personal success, Pearson Online Academy’s highly trained, certified teachers offer instruction tailored to each student’s strengths and challenges using an award-winning computer-based curriculum, real-time instruction, and time-tested course materials from leading publishers. Pearson Online Academy currently serves students in 66 different countries around the world and is part of the global learning company Pearson. For more information, visit

SCLC Media Contacts:
Spencer Pilgrim:

Pearson Contacts:
Rachel Smith: (410) 688-9504 /
Allison Bazin: (609) 247-0275 /

The American Consortium for Equity in Education, publisher of the "Equity & Access" journal, celebrates and connects the educators, associations, community partners and industry leaders who are working to solve problems and create a more equitable environment for historically underserved pre K-12 students throughout the United States.

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