In phase one of the program, the goal of The Urban Grape Wine Studies Award for Students of Color is to fully fund two students per year for all four levels of study at Boston University’s Certificate Program in Wine Studies. With coursework led by two Masters of Wine, the world’s most prestigious and difficult certification to receive, it is TJ and Hadley’s belief that the Wine Studies program provides graduates with all the necessary coursework they need to begin a successful career in wine. Graduates receive a certification from the program upon completion.
After endowing the initial fund at Boston University, TJ and Hadley Douglas plan to provide additional awards for students of color to other schools across the country, specifically to learn the fourth side of the wine industry - winemaking.
Award recipients receive the opportunity to complete three paid industry internships during the time of their coursework. In addition to gaining retail experience at The Urban Grape, award recipients will also complete internships at MS Walker - a family-owned wine and spirits distributor founded in 1933, boasting one of the most comprehensive portfolios in the state - and Big Heart Hospitality - the restaurant group founded by Tiffani Faison that features both casual and fine dining and beverage experiences throughout the city of Boston.
A key component to any successful educational program is mentorship. Learning how to navigate the beverage industry, create opportunities for growth, and plan for long term success in a new career are all key components to this program’s success. TJ Douglas will act as the primary mentor for the award recipients, with other industry leaders providing support as needed.
Each recipient will receive a one to two week externship for outside independent study during their first year in the program. One externship is in partnership with Becky Wasserman & Co and Peter Wasserman and includes a two week externship to Burgundy, France to study the import/export business.
The Douglas family began the fund with a $10,000 contribution on June 22, 2020. Active fundraising to expand the reach and breadth of the award fund will begin immediately. The Urban Grape invites its customers, community, and industry as a whole to join them in their efforts to grow the Award Fund via contributions. To be part of this movement, please donate to the Boston University award fund via this link.
Applications for 2021/2022 awards are now OPEN. Applications will remain open until June 30th. After that time, finalists will be asked for a short interview. The two award recipients will be named in early August, 2021, and classes will begin after Labor Day. Applications for 2021 are available online at the Boston University Met College.
Questions about the application process can be directed to Jessica Habalou at Boston University.
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