Recently-retired Toronto Raptors legend Vince Carter wants to give back to the city that launched his NBA career.

Carter has launched a scholarship in the Greater Toronto Area that will focus on serving high school youth and adolescents, especially those in underrepresented minority communities. 

The $25,000 scholarship, dubbed the Vince Carter Scholarship and Mentorship Program, will be offered to student who are passionate about pursuing endeavors in music, film, fashion, broadcasting, media, sports, science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

Students between the ages of 16 and 18 can apply through the programs application portal. The scholarship is open to high school students who are entering grades 11 and 12 in September 2021 and the years thereafter. Major program features will include specialized academic courses, work experience, and internships, including opportunities to shadow executive leaders in each respective field. 

"I am doing my part, now it's time for you to do yours by reaching out to kids, extended family, friends, educators and share this opportunity," Carter says in a statement.

Scholarship recipients will attend distinguished private schools with tailored academic programs focused on students reaching their full potential. The J Addison School in Markham will be one of the first private schools participating in the scholarship program launch. Additional programs for students between ages 12 and 15 will also be available and will serve to support academic growth. This will include summer camps for fashion, film, music, sports, leadership, and civics and careers. 

While the scholarship program is available to all, Carter highly encourages applications from the Black community, the Indigenous community, people of colour, and young women, says a press release. Statistics show there are lower numbers from said groups within each respective employment sector above, especially the STEM fields. 

Through specialized academic programming, the scholarship launch aims to create a level playing field and promote equal opportunities for underrepresented communities.

Scholarship criteria requires applicants to possess a passion and drive in any of the academic pathways mentioned. An overview of grades, personal character, community involvement, and a 500-word essay is also required. 

The Vince Carter Scholarship program will also extend help to post-secondary students across the GTA at institutions such as York University, Ryerson University, and Seneca College that are currently pursuing endeavors in the following fields. Extended support will be available in the forms of summer job placements and internship opportunities for students.