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Originally a YouTube project,


H.A.P.S. was conceived of by Dr. Joshua Bowen and Megan Lewis, the team behind the Digital Hammurabi YouTube channel. Both veterans of graduate school, Joshua and Megan had an urgent sense of the financial difficulties experienced by graduate students researching the Ancient Near East. Their experiences in the YouTube community had opened them up to the challenges faced by non-specialists who wanted access to reliable information about the ancient world, and the apparent gulf between those two communities. In an attempt to bridge that gap, they decided to run a crowd-funded grant program, giving non-specialists both access to researchers and a personal stake in research, while providing graduate students with an extra source of summer funding.

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H.A.P.S. raised $7,607.96 in its first year

This was more of a success than Megan or Joshua dreamed of, and gave them enough money to fund three summer grants at $2,000 each.

Fundraising continued for the 2019-2020 academic year, and in early 2020 H.A.P.S. was officially incorporated by the state of Maryland as a charitable corporation. Official non-profit status followed soon after, and the team expanded to include a board of directors. Everyone at Humans Against Poor Scholarship is excited to see how far we can go!

Summer 2020 is another roaring success, with enough funds raised to provide another three research grants. 2020 also saw the launch of the Black Scholars Matter Initiative, a grant program aimed at improving diversity in the field of ancient studies by providing both funding and mentors for Black undergraduate students wishing to attend professional conferences.

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