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The Groundlings Diversity Scholarship Program Expands Following SNL and Progressive Insurance Donations

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Groundlings Diversity Program estimates that more than 300 students will be financially assisted in taking classes in 2021.

The Groundlings Diversity Scholarship Program Expands Following SNL and Progressive Insurance Donations

The Groundlings Theatre and School has selected 71 student recipients to receive a Diversity Scholarship Award towards their continuing education at famed The Groundlings School. The non-profit institution has offered scholarships on a quarterly basis each year, but thanks to recent generous donations by Saturday Night Live and Progressive Insurance, this is the most scholarships they have been able to issue at one time. This also marks the first time students outside of the Los Angeles area were awarded scholarships since The Groundlings moved their classes online last year amid the pandemic. Recipients include those who reside in New York City, Chicago, Miami, Atlanta, among others.

With the donation provided by Progressive Insurance, Groundlings Diversity Program estimates that more than 300 students will be financially assisted in taking classes in 2021. Progressive Insurance is no stranger to working with The Groundlings. The alumni of the theatre and school can be seen in the popular Progressive commercials including Stephanie Courtney as "Flo," Jim Cashman as "Jamie," and Jeremy Rowley as "Rodney."

Three of the 71 recipients received the new "SNL Scholarship," which was created in partnership with Saturday Night Live in October 2020. In addition to tuition for classes and individual coaching from a Groundlings teacher, these students will also have the opportunity to submit an audition tape to Saturday Night Live.

"The Groundlings has been my second home and family since 1998," said Groundlings alumna Stephanie Courtney. "So many good things in my life can be traced right back to this theater. I'm so happy Progressive recognizes the importance of the creative work being done here. I'm thrilled they are providing such a generous scholarship to the Groundlings Diversity Program."

"These donations give an incredible boost to our ongoing efforts towards meeting goals of diversity and inclusivity and comes at much-needed time when many of our students have experienced financial hardships due to the pandemic," commented Carrie LaFerle Gergely, Managing Director, The Groundlings Theatre and School. "We are grateful to Saturday Night Live and Progressive for this show of support. We are so proud of our alumni and honored that they continue to support and share their talents with our theatre."

The Groundlings Diversity Scholarships support the institution's mission that everyone, regardless of race, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, or physical ability are given the same opportunities within their program. Each application is read by The Groundlings' Diversity Committee, which is made up of teachers, Main Company members, and Groundlings staff. Since 2015, the Groundlings organization has invested over $190,000 to fund scholarships to initiative significant steps toward progressive recruitment and to support Groundlings students of diverse backgrounds.

Students at all levels can apply for the Groundlings Diversity Scholarships each quarter through The Groundlings website at www.groundlings.com/scholarships.


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