Black aspiring professionals awarded full GIA scholarships
CARLSBAD, Calif. – April 20, 2021 – Inspiration is a driving force in all of our lives, and it was the deciding factor in the difficult decision to select just two recipients for the Beyoncé Knowles-Carter x Lorraine Schwartz GIA Scholarship for full tuition to earn GIA’s Graduate Gemologist diploma through distance education.
This scholarship, gifted by world renowned jewelry designer Lorraine Schwartz to her close friend and long-time client, multi-talented performer, record producer and philanthropist Beyoncé, is rooted in the understanding that education builds opportunity that can lead to generational wealth. Beyoncé’s selection of the two recipients centered around the applicants’ narratives about what they intend to achieve, share and build with the knowledge they gain at GIA.
“I was impressed with their passion and the knowledge of gems that so many applicants displayed,” said Beyoncé. “I am praying that this is just the beginning of opening more doors to diversity and raw inspiration in the jewelry industry.”
“It’s an honor to be part of this life-changing moment for these two young, professionals; even more so because it’s in Beyoncé’s name, who has been my friend, muse, and the canvas for which I show my jewelry on for the last 20 years. Her work for the Black community is without limit and her efforts have inspired me and made me extremely proud to be her friend and partner on this initiative,” said Lorraine. “Both recipients are so passionate about furthering their education and jumpstarting their futures — not only for themselves, but for their communities and for the generations to follow. I look forward to following along as Audriana and Shelton take the industry by storm.”
Following the selection by Beyoncé of the two recipients of the Beyoncé Knowles-Carter x Lorraine Schwartz GIA Scholarship, Beyoncé announced that she will fund a third scholarship.
The three award recipients, Audriana Osborne, Shelton Bradford and Kulla Jatani, drew on their life experiences in their essays. They shared the origin of their passion for gems and jewelry and what they will do with the opportunity to increase Black representation in the industry. The three were profoundly inspiring, and they embraced a community-centric approach to creating more opportunities for others in their communities.
For a front row seat to this life-changing moment, visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xVYk4j03evc
Audriana Osborne, from Montgomery, Alabama, aspires to intersect creative expression and legal advocacy into a career that ensures that marginalized groups and their creativity are both protected and cultivated. This scholarship will enable her to fulfill her ambition in the jewelry industry.
Shelton Bradford, from Lake Forest, California, has a love of gemstones that was sparked by the science and symbolism of gems. With this scholarship, Shelton plans to learn a fantastic trade, open his own business, and pass a legacy down to his children.
The recipient of the third scholarship, Kulla Jatani from Seattle, Washington, uses jewelry as an outlet for her creativity but also as a tool that connects her to her African heritage. Kulla plans to develop her technical skills with the goal of serving others in her community.
“The global gem and jewelry industry is fused together by specialized expertise and diversity of experiences, voices and differing backgrounds. All of these help to foster creativity, relevance and ultimately success. Diversity is essential for us to continue to thrive well into the future,” said Susan Jacques, GIA president and CEO. “We are honored to have worked with Beyoncé and Lorraine to create educational opportunities that can transform the course of a life – and for it to benefit three people, makes it all that more special. Congratulations to Audriana, Shelton and Kulla – we are excited to have you join us on this special journey and we welcome you to GIA!”
Each scholarship is valued in excess of $20,000 which includes tuition, fees, equipment, and travel and other expenses for on-campus lab classes.
GIA is a nonprofit institution committed to protecting and educating the public about gems and jewelry. Supported by insights from the Institute’s global research team, GIA education programs offer practical skills to support the careers of the next generation of jewelry leaders and professionals. Learn more about GIA education.