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Minorities to Majorities app works to inform underrepresented student groups about opportunities

<p>The app was created by&nbsp;Duke graduate student Jasmine Chigbu.</p>

The app was created by Duke graduate student Jasmine Chigbu.

A new app seeks to bring professional opportunities directly to minority students.

Duke graduate student Jasmine Chigbu created Minorities to Majorities, a mobile application to increase access to opportunities for students facing situations she faced as a member of a minority group while she was applying to and attending college. 

Touted as a student-friendly platform, the free Minorities to Majorities app seeks to help students from underrepresented groups access various educational and professional opportunities that are otherwise lesser-known. Chigbu, who completed her undergraduate degree at Duke, noted that she felt under-informed about scholarship, internship and fellowship opportunities available to her while she was applying to college and even while at Duke.

“You can’t apply for scholarships, internships or fellowships you don’t know exist,” Chigbu wrote in an email.

The Minorities to Majorities app seeks to offer its users a database of such opportunities for educational and career development. Organized into three categories—education level, underrepresented group and type of educational or professional opportunity — and then by scholarships, fellowships and internships, the app makes it easy for students to identify opportunities that are directly pertinent to their demographic group. Chigbu, who worked with a developer on some of the app's technical aspects, noted that it has had about 1,000 downloads since its launch to various schools in the Triangle area.

Motivating students is a large part of the app’s core mission, Chigbu added. Through a social media presence, Chigbu hopes to redefine the way that underrepresented groups are portrayed in the media, with the ultimate goal of encouraging diversity in higher education and the working world. A shop feature for school supplies is currently under development and one-on-one consulting services can be arranged through the app as well.

Chigbu, a current student in the master's in biomedical sciences program, said she intends for the app to generate revenue from ad sales and the consulting service. 

Moving forward, Chigbu explained that she hopes Minorities to Majorities will become a movement and platform to empower various underrepresented groups, including through the creation of a mentoring program among students and professionals.

“If a student has hope that they can achieve their dreams, they will attempt to pursue more opportunities available to them; and if more opportunities are available to a student, their hope to purse a career of their choosing will not only be validated but supported,” Chigbu wrote.


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