Awards & Press

Ovative Team Funds Scholarships for Five Students from The BrandLab

MINNEAPOLIS, MINN. June 10th, 2024 –– Ovative Group has granted scholarships to five students from The BrandLab. The annual scholarship, raised by Ovative team members, awards funds to BIPOC students pursuing a marketing or advertising career. This year, Ovative awarded a record-breaking $35,000 to five students: Arianna Vang, Jaber Abdalla, Mia Vue Jennings, Pablo Huerta Anzaldo, and Zhara Christopher. 

Charitable giving is a passion for many Ovative team members. Through its Champions of Change program, Ovative’s team volunteers their time, energy, and dollars to drive impact in our communities and beyond. Ovative has been a long-standing partner of The BrandLab, which aims to increase the diversity of the marketing and advertising industry. This partnership has included employing their students as interns and full-time employees, providing professional mentors for students, and raising scholarship funds. Since 2019, Ovative employees have raised $80,000 in scholarships for BIPOC students working with The BrandLab. 

“The racial representation gap in the marketing industry persists and demands continued investment in organizations like The BrandLab. We see amazing synergies in Ovative’s Champions of Change efforts and The BrandLab’s mission to push for a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive industry. We’re proud to support the work they do.” – Jason Giltner, Sr. Manager, Talent Services

Ovative received a record number of 18 applications for this year’s scholarship. Of these 18 applicants, Ovative granted scholarships to five students pursuing careers spanning marketing, design, and more. Arianna, Jaber, Mia, Pable, and Zhara were crowned winners by an Ovative selection committee. 

Arianna Vang, a Business and Marketing Education student at the University of Minnesota, was awarded $10,000. Ovative’s team was inspired by Arianna’s passion for engaging with her community. Outside of the classroom, Arianna founded a mentorship program for Southeast Asian high school girls called Southeast Asian Women’s Virtue (SAWV). According to Arianna, “I’ve made it a priority to represent the underrepresented and become a leader. SAWV provides a safe space for self-awareness, community building, and leadership development.” 

Jaber Abdalla, a Business and Marketing Education student at the University of Minnesota, was awarded $10,000. Beyond his commitment to academic excellence, Jaber volunteers his time as a Child Program Lead at Lyndale Farmstead Park and helps his mother run her Somali cafe. According to Jaber, this scholarship will provide him with the resources to enhance his education and obtain real-world experience. According to Jaber, “This scholarship is much more than just financial assistance. It’s a vote of confidence in my skills and a belief in my ability to have a significant influence in the marketing field.” 

Mia Vue Jennings, a Marketing and Management Information Systems student at the University of Minnesota, was awarded $5,000. Beyond the classroom, Mia is a professional visual artist, primarily creating digital art, street art, and murals. According to Mia, “The majority of my artwork focuses on encouraging community-building and highlights my Hmong heritage.” She has created art for the Minnesota Public Radio, Minnesota State Fair, Downtown Minneapolis Street Art Festival, and Business Association of Multicultural Students (BAM) at her school. 

Pablo Huerta Anzaldo, a Graphic Design student at Concordia University, was awarded $5,000. Pablo has interned with The BrandLab for the past three years and is passionate about embracing uncertainty and taking risks with design. According to Pablo, “I choose to push the boundaries of my creativity by experimenting with unconventional ideas and challenging traditional design norms.” Whether he’s creating digital art pieces, cartooning, or sketching, Pablo applies this mindset to everything he creates. 

Zhara Christopher, a Marketing student at Howard University, was awarded $5,000. Ovative’s selection committee was inspired by her commitment to fearlessly unlocking the potential of other BIPOC students. Outside of the classroom, Zhara passionately gives back to her community by mentoring BIPOC high school students to help them apply and prepare for college. According to Zhara, “It is very important to me to give back my knowledge and resources to my community because I know I would not be where I am today without their help.” 


Ovative Group is an independent media, measurement, creative, and consulting firm. Ovative fosters strategic growth and maximizes marketing performance for clients across retail, CPG, hospitality, food & beverage, healthcare, and other industries. Ovative’s team of experts measure the holistic impact of marketing on clients’ total business using its proprietary metric, Enterprise Marketing Return (EMR). To help marketers transform marketing into a driver of sustainable growth, Ovative created a proprietary suite of integrated MarTech products called Emrge. Ovative is recognized as an industry leader, receiving awards from Digiday Technology Awards, Google Premier Partner Awards, USA Today’s Top Workplaces, Inc. 5000, AdWeek’s Fastest Growing Agencies, and more. For more information about Ovative, visit our website or follow Ovative on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter. 

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The BrandLab is a non-profit aiming to change the face and voice of the marketing and advertising industry. They connect BIPOC students with opportunities to achieve professional greatness throguh job programs, professional development, mentorship, and more. To learn more, visit 


Insights Team

About the Author

Ovative is a digital-first media and measurement firm seeking to transform the measure of marketing success. At Ovative, we help brands move the needle. We are curious. We value your brand. We want to see you succeed. Connect with us to learn more!

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