Origins & Mission

Origins

The Prince Hall Memorial Education and Scholarship Fund (PHMESF) grew out of a desire by Prince Hall Masons to provide educational assistance to deserving students in California. Prince Hall was the founder of Black Masonry in America in May of 1787 by a Charter from the Grand Lodge Of England. The African Grand Lodge Of North America was formed in Boston in 1791. All Prince Hall Masons across the country derive from those beginnings. The Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of California has donated to many educational funds through the years and continues to do so. We decided to honor the founder of our order by chartering a Non-Profit Charity to dispense the funds. The PHMESF was established 1991 and granted probationary tax-exempt status by the Internal Revenue Service and the CFTB. The fund received permanent status as a 501 (c ) 3 in 1996.

Our Mission

Summed up in a simple statement “Building bridges to a better tomorrow:”
The PHMESF is a 501 (c) 3 tax-deductible nonprofit organization that collects and distributes grants and scholarships to deserving low-income Minority students, children of members of the Prince Hall family, and other High School seniors, who have demonstrated a desire to achieve in spite of their economic circumstances.

Mission Accomplishment

The PHMESF has granted $408,000.00 in scholarships. The fund has awarded and is supporting five (5) awards for 5 thousand dollars. These awards have the potential of being 8 thousand if the student is in the top 10% and receives a merit award. Seventeen $1000.00 scholarships are also donated annually. The funds were donated by The Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge and its members, and through the Combined Federal Campaign, the United Way, The Grand Lodge Officers Wives Club (GLOW) and various Corporate Work Place Campaigns.

Encouraging excellence

The awards are granted on the basis of grades earned by the student, SAT or ACT score, family income, community and school participation and a student essay. Initial awards are for $1000.00 paid in two installments of $500.00. Students must maintain a minimum C average after the award of the scholarship to receive the second payment. Ten percent of our recipients earn merit awards of $1000.00 for each additional year they remain in the “ Top 10” based on their present GPA and the initial score for the award.

The Independent Charities Seal of Excellence is awarded to the members of Local Independent Charities of America that have, been able to certify, document, and demonstrate on an annual basis that they meet the highest standards of public accountability, program effectiveness, and cost effectiveness. These standards include those required by the US Government for inclusion in the Combined Federal Campaign, probably the most exclusive fund drive in the world. Of the 1,000,000 charities operating in the United States today, it is estimated that fewer than 50,000, or 5 percent, meet or exceed these standards, and, of those, fewer than 2,000 have been awarded this Seal. The PHMESF has been awarded this seal.

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