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Hungry For Education

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Denny’s to award $200,000 in scholarships to high school and college students throughout the United States

As part of a national campaign to raise awareness about hunger and increase access to education, Denny’s has partnered with National Council of Negro Women, Inc. (NCNW), the Tom Joyner Foundation and PUSH Excel to sponsor the 2019 NCNW Hungry for Education Tour of seven Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

The tour, organized by NCNW, marks the seventh year of the Denny’s Hungry for Education Scholarship Program. The major initiative kicked off with a press conference at 10 a.m. August 16 at the NCNW national headquarters’ Dorothy I. Height Building, 633 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. John Miller, Denny’s president and CEO, April Kelly-Drummond, head of Diversity, Equality, Inclusion & Multicultural Engagement, Johnnetta Betsch Cole, NCNW’s national president, and Janice Mathis, executive director of NCNW, will be among the officials participating in the event, which is open to the media.

Beginning in September 2019, the NCNW 2019 HFE HBCU Tour will visit seven campuses in six cities to encourage college enrollment, academic excellence, and career preparation for students of all backgrounds. Tour stops will be South Carolina State University and Claflin University, Orangeburg, S.C. (Sept. 7); Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, Fla. (Sept. 14); Clark Atlanta University, Atlanta, Ga. (Sept. 21); Howard University, Washington, D.C. (Sept. 28); Wilberforce University, Wilberforce, Ohio, (Nov. 2); and Texas Southern University, Houston, Texas (Nov. 6).

As part of its annual Hungry for Education Scholarship Program, Denny’s will be awarding more than $200,000 in scholarships this year to high school and college students who apply this fall. During each stop along the HBCU Tour, Denny’s also will provide $500 meal scholarships to four high school students and four college students, totaling $4,000 at each college stop. The meal scholarships will be a direct tie-in to Denny’s efforts to address food insecurity on HBCU campuses and an extension of the meal swipe initiative, created by Mary-Pat Hector, winner of the HFE scholarship.

During the tour stops, activities will include panel discussions with celebrity HBCU alumni, marching band performances, campus tours, an overview of campus life including admissions, financial aid, and career counseling, information sessions about Denny’s Hungry for Education scholarships and the opportunity to explore careers at Denny’s. Participating high school students also will have the opportunity to meet current college students, professors, and potential employers.

Denny’s Hungry for Education Scholarship Program recognizes and rewards students who show initiative and creativity in the fight against childhood hunger. Partnering with leading nonprofit minority advocacy organizations, Denny’s Hungry for Education program has awarded more than $1,000,000 in scholarships to deserving elementary, high school, and college students since its inception. Just as importantly, the program has implemented student-generated ideas for reducing childhood hunger.

“At Denny’s, we have found that supporting HBCUs is an incredibly effective way to invest in the diverse communities we serve,” said April Kelly-Drummond, head of Diversity Equality Inclusion & Multicultural Engagement. “HBCUs make up only 3 percent of the colleges and universities in the United States, yet they produce 23 percent of African-American college graduates.”

Denny’s President and CEO John Miller said that, “The Hungry for Education Scholarship program benefits the scholarship recipients, of course, but when those students use their scholarships at HBCUs, it’s like we’re investing that scholarship twice—once in today’s student and once in the future students who will benefit from the incredible work that HBCUs are doing.”

Janice Mathis, executive director of NCNW, added, “NCNW is very pleased to have great partners like Denny’s, and our HBCU destinations to help us spread the good news that nothing levels the playing field like education.”

Promoting the importance of HBCUs is critical to these school’s success, said Thomas Joyner, chairman and CEO of the Tom Joyner Foundation, “HBCUs have played and still play a key role in providing a nurturing, tough-love environment for so many students over the years. We’ve been working with Denny’s for more than 18 years, and this tour is another example of how we work together to celebrate these schools and give students access to the information and scholarships needed to help them succeed.”

About Denny’s
Denny’s is one of America’s largest full-service family restaurant chains, currently operating more than 1,700 franchised, licensed, and company-owned restaurants across the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Philippines, New Zealand, Honduras, the United Arab Emirates, Costa Rica, Guam, Guatemala, the United Kingdom, Aruba, El Salvador, and Indonesia. For further information on Denny’s, including news releases, please visit the Denny’s website at www.dennys.com, www.dennyshungryforeducation.com or the brand’s social channels via Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, Instagram, or YouTube.

About NCNW
National Council of Negro Women is a Washington, D.C.-based charitable organization making a difference in the lives of women, children, and families through a four- pronged strategy that emphasizes entrepreneurship, health equity, STEAM education and civic engagement. Founded nearly 85 years ago, NCNW has 290 community and campus bases sections and thirty-two national affiliates representing more than Two Million women and men. Johnnetta Betsch Cole, Ph.D. is seventh President of NCNW. For more information or to register for the NCNW Hungry for Education Tour, please visit www.ncnw.org.

About Tom Joyner Foundation
The Tom Joyner Foundation (http://tomjoynerfoundation.org) was founded in 1998 as the brainchild of nationally syndicated radio personality Tom Joyner. The mission of the Foundation is to support historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) with scholarships, endowments and capacity-building enhancements. The Foundation has provided necessary support to every HBCU in its 22-year history to help sustain and preserve the legacies of these valuable institutions. Through fundraising and donor development initiatives, in excess of $66 million has been raised to support more than 31,000 students attending HBCUs. Additionally, the Foundation has recommended internships, offered matching grant support, and career development to deserving students. You can follow them on Facebook.

About PUSH Excel
PUSH Excel strives to be a world leader in promoting educational excellence and equity in funding and allocation of educational resources so that every child is guaranteed an opportunity to receive a quality education. The mission of PUSH Excel is to promote education excellence by engaging the stakeholders in education to work collaboratively to create opportunities, transform the lives of students and improve communities. Davida Mathis, a South Carolina lawyer, volunteers with PUSH Excel to produce King Legacy Week, an innovative introduction to higher education and STEAM careers for SC youth.

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Principal Change At Sam Houston H.S.

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By LaNell Taylor

Some may call it déjà vu, but unfortunately the situation is not rumored but rather it is true. The leadership at Sam Houston High School is changing once again.  Last, week an article was published in a local newspaper and much chatter took place via social media that Dr. Mateen Diop, Principal at Sam Houston High School would no longer serve as the school’s principal at the start of the 2020 – 2021 school year. The announcement came as a surprise to some while others applauded the SAISD board’s decision.  It is believed that the decision was solidified following the class valedictorian’s graduation speech that vilified the school, Dr. Diop and his administrative team.

Not much has been shared from either party (SAISD nor Dr. Diop); however, SAISD Board of Trustee Alicia Perry did offer the following statement:

We will have a change in leadership at Sam Houston High School next school year. These changes are always made with students in mind and their best interests at heart. We value the community and will ensure that stakeholder input is considered as we search for a new leader. We will strive hard to ensure that the campus moves in a positive direction. We take the concerns of our students seriously and we want to ensure that they have a successful learning environment. District Administration will review the concerns in an effort to ensure that they are addressed appropriately.” 

As an alumna of Sam Houston High School in the San Antonio Independent School District, a former teacher of the school, a parent of a Sam Houston athlete, a tax payer in the District, I personally know that the stability of leadership at Sam Houston H.S. has been on shaky ground for at least almost two decades now.  When I taught there from 2001-2006 we had 5 principals (Donald McClure, Joanne Cockrell, John Simpson, Joanne Cockrell again, and Melanie Iglehart – Hammonds) in the five years that I was there and unfortunately that cycle of the forever changing leadership hasn’t changed much since then; therefore, making it a very systemic problem and not good for kids.

Again, not many details have been released as to why this current principal change has occurred, but for many outsiders looking in, we are in an awaken state of looking at the systematic failures of organizations and institutions that have failed Blacks (particularly Black men).  I just believe folks need to make sure history isn’t repeating itself.  In speaking to other individuals, a former principal, mentor, and friends of mine, it was expressed that if I were to dig deeper I would probably uncover evidence of suppression of Black men in SAISD. Immediately in my mind I reflected back to the likes of Mr. Donald McClure; Mr. Everett Fuller; Mr. Charles James; Mr. Lewis Barr; Mr. John Simpson; Mr. Derrick Cade; Mr. Darnell White; Mr. Stanton Lawrence; and Dr. Mateen Diop and wondered what adversities they may have faced within the system.

To all who have walked in the shoes of educators they know “Teaching Ain’t Easy” and sometimes it is not for everyone. Again, I am not defending nor agreeing with anyone on the matter; however, I know that “Great Leaders” are important, but no one leader should EVER stop a show. If ALL parties (parents, students, community, principals, administrators, board members, stakeholders, etc.) TAKE RESPONSIBILITY and are doing their part within an institution, despite the efforts of whomever the principal is, SUCCESS WILL PREVAIL! I’m part of that proof. As I mentioned earlier, I taught at Sam Houston H.S. when we had 5 principals in five years; however, as a campus we were still able to perform and on some occasions even outperform other schools in and out of the District to include areas of academics, athletics, graduating children., etc.

People should also consider that in most school systems today, most principals don’t run campuses like the days of old. Administrators, Vice Principals, Assistant Principals, Academic Deans, Counselors, etc. are the day to day faces we encounter because principals are like CEOs, they are often required to attend meetings and trainings at the District office, on and off campus, in the community, out of the city and state, perform classroom and campus walkthoughs, manage construction, manage budgets, and lets not forget those infamous “other duties as assigned.” I say all that to say that it should not be a surprise that at many campuses individuals are confused as to who is running the campus.

In closing, I’d like to note that when I worked at other schools in SAISD principal turnovers were just as frequent then as they are today, and I never understood how that was good for kids. Much can be said about schools that have or had consistency in leadership.  Shouts out to Mr. Charles Muñoz former Principal at Edison H.S. who served for two decades or more; Ms. Raquel Sosa, former Principal, Highland Hills Elementary in the 80s, and two of my current favorite principals Mrs. Natasha Pinnix of M.L. King Academy and Dr. Derrick Thomas of St. Philip’s Early College High School. Much can be said for their leadership and track records.

I challenge all to look at ALL the data in order to make best decisions.  And please let the good outweigh the bad.

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Charles Butt donates $1 million to PVAMU; Funds to support Ruth J. Simmons Center for Race and Justice

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PRAIRIE VIEW, Texas (June 11, 2020) – Charles Butt, H-E-B Chairman, announced today a $1,000,000 personal contribution to Prairie View A&M University in honor of University President Ruth J. Simmons.

President Simmons joined Prairie View in 2017 after retiring as President of Brown University where she served as President from 2001 to 2012.  She had previously served as President of Smith College from 1995 to 2001. Born in Grapeland, Texas, she grew up in Houston’s Fifth Ward where she graduated from Phyllis Wheatley High School.  She holds both a Master of Arts and Ph.D. degree in Romance Languages and Literatures from Harvard University.  Simmons chairs the Board of Directors of the Holdsworth Center for Excellence in Education Leadership.

“When I learned of Mr. Butt’s gift, I was overwhelmed,” said President Simmons. “His generosity to the children of the State of Texas and his concern for the quality of education afforded Prairie View students is inspiring to us all.  Our students can learn a good deal from his humanity and the manner in which he lives and practices his values.”

The funds will be used to support The Ruth J. Simmons Center for Race and Justice at the University.  This Center will be proposed for approval to the Texas A&M Chancellor and Board of Regents and the Coordinating Board with the following proposed mission:

The Center positions itself as a multidisciplinary effort, drawing from an array of existing programs that can, together, facilitate greater understanding of racism and discrimination on the one hand and the need for justice on the other hand to strengthen and sustain civil society.  The center’s activities will include:

  • encouraging curricular innovation that helps students better understand how racial and other biases can impact their beliefs, affect their choices and shape their opportunities in life;
  • educational programs for the public on how to combat bias in their communities;
  • expert support for government and organizations seeking to understand how they can improve upon their efforts to assure a bias-free, inclusive environment;
  • training for individuals in leadership positions who wish to improve upon their leadership for inclusion; and
  • support for scholarship and research that adds to knowledge about new areas of injustice that are in need of urgent attention from policymakers and others (such as human trafficking).PVAMU President Ruth J. Simmons

Prairie View A&M University is a state-assisted, public, comprehensive land grant institution of higher education. It is dedicated to achieving excellence and relevance in teaching, research, and service and seeks to invest in programs and services that address issues and challenges affecting the diverse ethnic and socioeconomic population of Texas and the larger society, including the global arena.

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Scholarships for Black Students

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10 Black Scholarship Programs in 2020 That Are Still Open Despite COVID-19

Every year, there are many programs that give away scholarships to thousands of African American and other minority students. In 2020, though, many of these programs have been cancelled and/or postponed because of the worldwide Coronavirus pandemic. However, we were able to find at least 10 Black scholarship programs that are still open. Here they are:

#1 – Jack and Jill of America Foundation Need-Based Scholarships: Offered to high school seniors who will attend and maintain a full-time status at an accredited, four-year post-secondary institution, starting in the fall of the year and working toward a bachelor’s degree. Learn more at https://www.blackscholarships.org/2018/10/jack-and-jill-of-america-foundation-providing-need-based-scholarships.html

#2 – Walmart Foundation First Generation Scholarship For HBCU Students: Offered through Walmart’s foundation, the program specifically helps students who are enrolled at any HBCU or PBI (Primarily Black Institution) across the country. Learn more at https://www.blackscholarships.org/2019/04/walmart-foundation-first-generation-scholarship-hbcu-students.html

#3 – Jay-Z’s Shawn Carter Scholarship Fund: Founded by Jay-Z and his philanthropist mother, Gloria, this program helps low income students advance their education by giving them the resources they need to enroll in college, pay the tuition, and successfully finish college on time. Learn more at https://www.blackscholarships.org/2019/04/jay-z-shawn-carter-scholarship-fund.html

#4 – Jesse Jackson’s PUSH Excel Scholarship Program: This program encourages servant leadership potential in scholars, and pushes students to develop a passion for social justice and social change. Learn more at https://www.blackscholarships.org/2018/10/jessie-jackson-push-excel-scholarship-program-three-awards.html

#5 – McDonald’s Black and Positively Golden Scholarships: This partnership between McDonald’s and the Thurgood Marshall Fund gives scholarship awards to deserving students that are attending HBCUs and PBIs across the United States. Learn more at https://www.blackscholarships.org/2019/03/tmcf-mcdonalds-black-positively-golden-scholarship-program.html

#6 – Apple’s HBCU Scholarship Program: Program for exceptional students currently attending an HBCU with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Applicants must be working towards earning a Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree, or a Ph.D. Learn more at https://www.blackscholarships.org/2018/09/apple-40-million-hbcu-scholarship-program-summer-internship.html

#7 – Coca-Cola Scholars Program Scholarship: A program for graduating high school seniors who can demonstrate their ability to lead and serve their communities. Students are also expected to be able to demonstrate a level of commitment to making a significant impact at their school and society in general. Learn more at https://www.blackscholarships.org/2018/10/20k-scholarships-from-coca-cola-program-foundation.html

#8 – Gucci Changemakers Diversity and Inclusion Scholarship Program: A global program that promotes unity, diversity and inclusion through it’s Gucci Changemakers program. The program offers more than $1 million in scholarships that will be allocated to financing the education of at least 70 fashion students. Learn more at https://www.blackscholarships.org/2019/04/gucci-changemakers-diversity-inclusion-scholarship.html

#9 – Foot Locker/ United Negro College Fund Scholarship Program: A partnership between the Foot Locker Foundation, Inc. and the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) to fund a scholarship program for students attending a UNCF member college or university during the fall of the current year. Learn more at https://www.blackscholarships.org/2020/05/foot-locker-united-negro-college-fund-scholarship-program.html

#10 – Davis Scholarship For Women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math): Willma H. Davis has partnered with the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) to establish a scholarship to encourage minority female students to pursue a future career in the STEM fields. Candidates must be classified as sophomore, junior, or senior in the Fall and attend a UNCF-member institution. Learn more at https://www.blackscholarships.org/2020/05/willma-h-davis-scholarship-for-women-in-stem.html

For more 2020-2021 scholarships, visit BlackScholarships.org

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