WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The NRF Foundation today announced 25 semi-finalists for the Ray Greenly Scholarship, which provides financial support to college students pursuing degrees in fields related to digital retailing. Five finalists will be announced at the National Retail Federation’s annual Shop.org conference in Los Angeles in September, with four students each receiving a $10,000 scholarship and one receiving $25,000.
“As retail continues to transform, job openings in data science, cyber security, app development, analytics and engineering continue are exploding,” NRF Foundation Executive Director Ellen Davis said. “The rigor and complexity of the Ray Greenly Scholarship helped us identify 25 finalists with bright, fulfilling careers ahead of them in digital retail. We’re excited to continue to follow their path and see how their careers progress.”
Each applicant was required to go through two phases of the application process. Phase one required the students to submit an essay on innovation along with a two-minute personal brand video. For phase two, the NRF Foundation developed a unique case study with West Elm, the furniture and home décor branch of Williams-Sonoma Inc., in which applicants created an innovative digital prototype that could serve as a complementary resource to the in-store experience for West Elm customers.
Digital retail executives from 16 companies were involved in selecting the semi-finalists based on the creativity and innovative spirit demonstrated in their applications. After a second round of judging to select the five finalists, a panel of executives will convene in mid-September to determine who will receive the top $25,000 scholarship and the four $10,000 scholarships. The top recipients will be announced at Shop.org.
The scholarship was established to honor former Shop.org Vice President Ray Greenly, who died of cancer in 2005. The program provides financial aid to students studying in fields such as engineering, computer science, marketing, business, e-commerce and economics.
About the NRF Foundation
The NRF Foundation shapes retail’s future by building awareness of the industry through statistics and stories; developing talent through education, experiences and scholarships; and fostering career growth among people who work in retail. The NRF Foundation is the 501(c)(3) nonprofit arm of the National Retail Federation and is funded in part by generous donations from retail industry supporters. NRF.com/Foundation.