GovBenefits.gov Honors Black History Month
Throughout February, GovBenefits.gov honors Black History Month and the contributions of the African American community to our country by highlighting benefit programs that may be helpful to African Americans and all other minority groups alike, including educational, career and business related programs.

Special Minority Initiatives
The Special Minority Initiatives develop and launch new research and research training programs and other initiatives for minority scientists. National Institute of General Medical Sciences sponsors several special minority initiatives, including the Bridges to the Future Programs (Bridges to the Baccalaureate Degree and Bridges to the Doctoral Degree), which are co-sponsored by the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities (another component of the National Institutes of Health). The division is also responsible for organizing meetings and other activities that build networks among individuals and educational institutions to promote minority participation in sponsored research. For more information, visit the Special Minority Initiatives.

Nursing Workforce Diversity Program
The Nursing Workforce Diversity Program increases opportunities for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds, including racial and ethnic minorities underrepresented among registered nurses. The opportunities provided include student scholarships or stipends, pre-entry preparation and retention activities. For more information, visit the Nursing Workforce Diversity Program.

American Council of Young Political Leaders Program
The purpose of this program is to enable emerging political leaders in the U.S. to experience firsthand the political and cultural dynamics of other countries, while also offering politically active young people in other countries a similar experience in the United States. For more information, visit the American Council of Young Political Leaders Program.

Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC)
MARC offers special research training support to 4-year colleges, universities and health professional schools with substantial enrollments of minorities such as African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans (including Alaska Natives), and natives of the U.S. Pacific Islands. The program's goals are to increase the number and competitiveness of underrepresented minorities engaged in biomedical research by strengthening the science curricula at minority-serving institutions and increasing the research training opportunities for students and faculty at these institutions. Inquire about this program at your educational or training institution. For more information, visit the Minority Access to Research Careers Program.

MicroLoan Program
The MicroLoan Program provides very small loans to start-up, newly established, or growing small business concerns. Under this program, SBA makes funds available to nonprofit community based lenders (Microlender Intermediaries) which, in turn, make loans to eligible borrowers in amounts up to a maximum of $35,000. The average loan size is about $10,500. Applications are submitted to the local intermediary and all credit decisions are made on the local level. For more information, visit the MicroLoan Program.