Volunteer for the African American Initiative Scholarship

The Cal Alumni Association (CAA) and the African American Initiative (AAI) Scholarship selection committee are beginning the AAI selection process for 2021-2022. We are calling on Cal alumni to volunteer as scholarship application readers, phone bankers, and finalist interviewers.

We are excited to continue the African American Initiative Scholarship in 2021, allowing us to make a greater impact in the lives of Black and African American students at Cal! Serving as an AAI volunteer is a great way to make a direct impact on the lives of African American students at Cal, meet and network with alumni, and promote positive change at UC Berkeley. For the 2021 season all application reading and Finalist interviews will be conducted virtually.

Learn more about the AAI application process!

The Impact of AAI

“As an alum,
it is refreshing and healing—liberating, actually—to see
a new day, a
new message to African American students, and
to all of us.”
—Dana Lang
MBA ’77, AAI Scholarship Chair

Dana Stevenson Lang MBA ’77 is a proud Cal alumna would have had more rewarding experiences at Cal had a scholarship such as AAI existed while she was a student. The environment and people were unwelcoming to Black students, making her feel excluded on campus. Volunteering with the African American Initiative Scholarship provided Dana a chance to connect with current Cal students and hear how their stories differ from her own.

“It makes a huge difference to students,” Dana says. “The African American Initiative program really understands how to address a need that is critical in the lives of these students, and it’s thrilling to help provide this safety net to students, to support and encourage the students who are working so hard to support and encourage others themselves.”

The African American Initiative Scholarship is a step in the right direction for UC Berkeley, that would not be possible without the support of an engaged community working to make the Cal experience better for future students. “When I told one of the students that assisted in the interviews how much I appreciated her presence, she responded with, ‘Yes, but I am standing on your shoulders.’”

Read more of Dana’s story here.

Volunteer Eligibility:

  • UC Berkeley alum
  • Identify as Black, African American, or African
  • Not be a direct relative of any AAI Scholarship applicant
  • Commit to a full season of volunteering
  • Cannot be a current UC Berkeley employee

AAI Volunteer Season

Phone Banking March 25 – May 1, 2021
Online Application Reading April 3 – 7, 2021
Virtual Finalist Interviews AApril 18 and/or 21, 2021


AAI Volunteer Roles

Volunteer Role Volunteer Duties
Phone Banking Call AAI qualified applicants to encourage them to apply, and/or Call recipients to encourage them to accept their award.
Application Reading Application readers are assigned a number of applications to read, evaluate, and score through our virtual portal and will be provided a step-by-step guide detailing the entire evaluation process.
Finalist Interviews Interview panels are conducted in person or via Skype. Interviewers assess and rank candidates based on criteria provided by CAA. AAI Scholarship chairs organize and coordinate interviews with local alumni.


Sign up to be an AAI Volunteer.

Sign Up

With questions or for more information, contact Yadira Antonio, Program Manager, Scholarship Selection at scholarships@alumni.berkeley.edu or 510.900.8346.