SVA and Deutsch New York’s Fund The Change Scholarship Announces First Two Recipients
May 4, 2021 by Maeri Ferguson
A text-based logo for the Fund the Change scholarship at SVA.

Last November, the School of Visual Arts and renowned advertising and design agency Deutsch NY announced the new mentorship and scholarship opportunity, Fund the Change, aiming to support two incoming BFA Design or Advertising students through all four years of college. Backed by $80,000 in funding ($10,000 for each year per student), Fund the Change will provide year-round mentorship opportunities and paid summer internships at Deutsch NY. Among the nearly 40 qualifying applicants to choose from, selected recipients Michael Barclay, of Chicago, Illinois, and Waverly Johnson, of Brooklyn, New York, showed exciting promise and sharp design skills in their work. Both are incoming BFA Design students, a program that saw a pool of 800 applicants for the 2021 – 2022 academic year; both are also recipients of the College’s Silas H. Rhodes Scholarship.

A voting PSA that shows several ghostly, ghoulish figures.
Credit: Waverly Johnson

“I am so excited for the opportunity to work in a creative environment gaining real life experience,” Johnson says. “I am looking forward to learning all I can from the professionals at Deutsch NY to build my design career.”

“I am very thankful to be chosen for the Fund the Change scholarship and mentorship,” Barclay says. “I’m looking forward to gaining real life experience in the industry as I continue to hone my skills. I can’t wait to learn from both SVA and Deutsch NY!”

A Nike shoe box customized with colorful painting.
Credit: Michael Barclay

Conceived by Deutsch NY to support creative undergraduate students from historically underrepresented backgrounds, and inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, Fund the Change aims to bring more diverse talent to the advertising industry. As of September 2020, the World Advertising Research Center (WARC) reports that less than 6% of the industry identifies as Black or African American. While Deutsch NY has a long history of offering paid internships to a diverse group of candidates, Fund the Change will further that mission by supporting the winning students through their entire college careers and creating long-term post-college opportunities to grow within the industry.

The scholarship program is administered through the Visual Arts Foundation and funded by Deutsch NY. For more information on financial aid and scholarships at SVA, click here; for more information on diversity, equity and inclusion at SVA, visit