Fred VanVleet is making a path for underprivileged kids who want to go to college and get their dream job ... by starting an academic scholarship with the University of Toronto.
The Toronto Raptors guard made the announcement on Monday ... saying it's key to help the youth in underprivileged communities as they may not have the same advantages and opportunities as others -- especially when it comes to education.
"This scholarship is important because it's going shine light on some of those who may be underserved or underprivileged in certain communities and aspects," VanVleet said via IG.
"We know there's a selection process to a lot of different scholarships and sometimes that counts people out."
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The scholarship will assist a black or Indigenous student who's interested in management with four years of tuition at the local university ... as well as a $1,000 stipend for books each year.
"I would love for the scholarship to be the catalyst to start a young person's career," he added.
"That platform that they need to get access to the resources, information and education. Hopefully, they go on to do many bright and important things."
There's also an amazing bonus -- one-on-one mentoring with VanVleet, which he says is an important way to motivate those who look like him.
"Mentorship can provide inspiration, too – seeing someone who looks like you, succeeding on their own terms, is huge."