Miami Ad School seeks diverse applicants in new scholarship campaign

Miami Ad School’s first ever scholarship, The Miles Philip Hammond Scholarship, is accepting applications for the second time since its initiation, and is doing so with some help from the scholarship’s first recipients.

Funded by Broken Heart Love Affair (BHLA), and named in memory of the great nephew of the agency’s founding partner Bev Hammond, the scholarship covers the $40,000 tuition cost of the school’s two-year diploma portfolio programs (either art direction or copywriting).

M.AD matched the funding to allow an additional scholarship student into the school, and will do so again.

After being selected for the first scholarships, Qudsiya Jabeen and Ben LeDrew began the program in fall of 2022. This year, the pair worked closely with BHLA’s sister agency Lifelong Crush to create a campaign seeking eligible candidates for the scholarship’s second instalment in 2024.

The campaign features the faces of Jabeen and LeDrew, with headlines that read “Challenges Lead to Creativity,” “Struggles Lead to Stories,” and “Hardships Lead to Heart.” Creative assets were made for social, digital, OOH and DOOH. Epitaph Media has donated media planning, and a buy in support, while Hype PR is donating PR planning and services.

Since the scholarship is open to individuals who have faced adversity while inspiring those around them—in short, emulating the qualities of Miles—the campaign’s goal is to raise awareness about the opportunities at M.AD amongst communities that are under-represented in advertising. “The strength of our industry is in diverse perspectives and backgrounds,” said M.AD Toronto’s co-founder and admissions director, Muneet Dhaliwal. “By fortifying and broadening the pathways into creative careers, we enhance our collective potential for innovative thought.”

For LeDrew, the scholarship was the difference in his pursuing a career in advertising or not. “An industry like advertising, that is as lucrative financially as it is, creatively has barriers to those who are not already reaping the benefits of privilege and financial stability,” he said. “The industry thrives off of diverse perspectives and cultural influences and yet allows for very little of that, as the industry can be expensive to enter.”

Jabeen agreed that she wouldn’t have pursued an advertising career if it weren’t for the scholarship program. Creative sector employers want to hire junior creatives with a trained eye and skills. Without mentorship, or the funding for specialized education, it is difficult to get a foot in the door, she said.

People and culture lead at BHLA and Lifelong Crush, Joline Matika, said working closely with the first year recipients allowed the agency to learn about their experience and improve aspects of the application process for the second round, including eligibility, submission requirements, selection and implementation.

“Ben and Qudsiya have been superstar ambassadors for the scholarship, M.AD and our agencies from the moment they were selected,” said Matika. “Our hope is that future recipients are as pumped about being involved in the creative development as [they] were.”

Looking back at the first year, the agency is also satisfied that the program has honoured Miles’ legacy in the manner it intended. Miles’ parents Kate and Kent Hammond said in a press release that watching the recipients utilize their opportunity to make a difference in the industry has been everything they hoped for. “We’re so appreciative to everyone involved for creating such a special way to remember our boy.”

Going forward, Dhaliwal hopes that the program inspires other scholarship opportunities in the industry and encourages further mentorship from established creatives.

The deadline for applications is Feb. 20, 2024, and interested individuals must plan to start full time studies in April or July of 2024. Interested applicants can get more information about the scholarship and apply through

Emma Johnston-Wheeler