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Clarus Partners with Founder Vincent Villano on STEM Scholarship for Graduating High School Student

“I’ve always believed that education is a cornerstone not only to personal growth and fulfillment but also to developing a stronger society. Unfortunately, it’s also become inaccessible for so many in our state and across the country. My hope is that we can help provide much-needed assistance to underserved students in our community and perhaps play a small role in helping shape our leaders of tomorrow.”

Those words from our original founder, Vin Villano, couldn’t have done a better job of summing up why Clarus is teaming up with him to create a scholarship fund through The Hartford Foundation this year.

About ten years ago, we created Clarus Cares, a program centered around giving back to our local community. Our team continues to commit time and resources to positively impact great organizations and causes.

This year, with the Villano-Clarus Scholarship, we will be able to help support one young woman to pursue a career in technology or entrepreneurship.

Vin has been working with the Hartford Foundation on similar scholarships since 2013.

As a Connecticut native, he prioritizes giving back to the community where he grew up, raised his son, and started a business. He approached us about a year ago with the idea of a joint scholarship.

Its purpose is to provide financial assistance to an incoming college student who meets the following criteria:

  • Graduating high school seniors from the 29-town Hartford Foundation region
  • Entering a 2 or 4-year college and pursuing an undergraduate degree on a full-time basis
  • Have achieved academic success in high school and show promise of continued academic achievement at the college level
  • Need financial aid in order to attend college
  • Have been involved with volunteer, community service, and/or extracurricular activities
  • Are female and interested in technology or entrepreneurship

While the scholarship criteria may change year to year, in this first year we’re excited to offer this opportunity to a young woman with an interest in technology and entrepreneurship to help jumpstart her career.

According to McKinsey, women make up just 19% of bachelor’s computer and information science degree recipients and 26% of the computing workforce.

As our VP, People Operations Jennifer Bittar put it, “We’ve spent a lot of time and energy this year on our diversity program and this is a nice supplement to that, as generally women are underrepresented in STEM spaces.”

The selection process includes the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving Board of Directors’ approved selection committee through an objective and nondiscriminatory process.

Members of Clarus, along with Vin Villano, will be part of the committee as well. Our hope is that the recipient will come into the office to meet our team members when it’s safe to do so again.

The opportunity to work with our original founder on this fund is exciting.

As Vin has said, “Clarus is part of my DNA. Like so many Clarus employees, we put in our blood, sweat and tears to help mold our fledgling business into what it’s become today. I’m always so proud of the team and I’m honored to partner with Clarus to launch this fund and help strengthen the community we love.”

We hope that this scholarship fund will continue to drive those efforts even further.

Learn more about applying for the Villano-Clarus Scholarship.

Tom Caporaso

Tom, our CEO, oversees the strategic direction of the company with over 20 years of experience in the loyalty and subscription space. When he's not leading in the office, he can be found coaching his kids in sports or watching his beloved New York Yankees or Pittsburgh Steelers.

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