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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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Scholarship Opportunity

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With the rise of inflation and the cost of college skyrocketing, it’s never too early for high school students to start preparing for their post-high school journey. Now is the time to start applying for scholarships as they come available.

The Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. has announced its annual International High School Essay Contest. Four College Scholarship Awards will be awarded. (1st Scholarship: $5,000; 2nd Scholarship: $3,000; 3rd Scholarship: $2,000; 4th Scholarship: $1,000). The contest is open to all college-bound, high-school seniors who submit an essay application through a local chapter of the fraternity. This year’s Essay Title is “A world crisis has caused a paradigm shift for health disparities and social justice; what are your suggestions for positive change.” The essay contest closes October 21, 2022. For more information visit an Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. near you. San Antonio college-bound high school students may visit www.psialphachapter.com for more information and to access the application.

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Education

Jordan Brand Welcomes Howard University

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One of the most acclaimed HBCUs in the nation and home of an astounding list of alumni to include the Vice President of the United States, Kamala Harris, Howard University and Jordan Brand team up for the next 20 years to establish academic and athletic opportunities.

What to Know

  • The 20-year partnership between Jordan Brand and Howard University is built on a legacy of excellence and a vision for Black futures.
  • The partnership aims to elevate Howard University’s athletic department, unlock new opportunities for recruitment and inspire a new generation to dream of excellence. 
  • Together, Jordan Brand and Howard University aim to amplify the influence of HBCUs on collegiate sport and continued impact on cultural globally.
  • In addition to the partnership with Howard University, Michael Jordan and Jordan Brand’s $100M commitment to the Black Community helps advance the work of organizations fighting to create systemic change.

Howard University, is one of the most esteemed Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU’s) with a tremendous legacy, rooted in a commitment to excellence. Jordan Brand is proud to continue that legacy through a 20 year partnership that will create academic and athletic opportunities that elevate the best of the Black Community.

“Howard University and Jordan Brand share a legacy of excellence and deep commitment to the Black Community. As a HBCU graduate, I understand the educational impact an institution like Howard University has. We are proud to partner with Howard University and see the growth in Black talent on the field and well beyond it,” says Craig Williams, Jordan Brand President.

The partnership deepens Jordan Brand’s connection to HBCU culture — which has influenced all aspects of Black culture in North America — and honor’s the university’s heritage by driving cultural connections across the diaspora. 

“We have always been proud of our legacy at Howard University, but we are audacious enough to believe our future could be brighter than our past. Partnering with Jordan Brand is another signal of our ambitions as a university to become an even brighter beacon for Black Excellence. We are thrilled to work on that vision of greatness together,” says Dr. Wayne A.I. Frederick, Howard University President. 

Grounding an exciting future for the Howard University athletic program, the first Jumpman uniforms for the Howard University athlete program will be revealed on August 27. 

“This partnership amplifies the culture of champions we are building at Howard,” says Kery Davis, Athletic Director for Howard University. “After winning multiple MEAC Championships last year we are poised to continue with Jordan Brand by our side.”

Beyond excellence on both court and field, Jordan Brand also aims to unlock new opportunities in recruitment that simultaneously elevate athletic and academic experiences. 

“HBCU‘s have been impacting culture since the beginning. Now we see a new era on the horizon, and an opportunity with Jordan Brand to introduce Howard University to the world. I’m excited to see our university collaborate with a partner like Jordan Brand that already means so much to the Black Community. Together, we have the power to make a difference and inspire the next generation of students to do the same,” says Jordyn Allen, Howard University Student Association President. 

In addition to the partnership with Howard University, Michael Jordan and Jordan Brand’s $100M commitment to the Black Community helps advance the work of organizations fighting to create systemic change.

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Black Life Texas

Essence Prep – Creating Leaders of the Future

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San Antonio’s newest school is opening its doors for kindergartners to fifth graders this fall. Essence Preparatory is a culturally and academically focused public school helping Black and brown students get better opportunities they often don’t find in other school settings.
The tuition-free public charter school, partially funded by the state, has a temporary location at 4535 Lord Road on San Antonio’s East Side. The school’s permanent location nearby Lord Road is slated to open in 2023.

When students start their classes on Aug. 22, they will see a diverse staff, which includes Black male teachers and smaller class sizes of about 15 students to one teacher. Texas state law requires a 22-to-1 student-teacher ratio in kindergarten through fourth grade, though districts can apply for waivers to exceed it. Essence Prep has a two-teacher per classroom model and anticipates enrolling 360 students.
Students will also learn from an innovative curriculum focusing on project-based, social-emotional, STE(A)M learning and a student conduct system concentrated on positive outcomes rather than disciplinary actions.

Essence Prep Superintendent Akeem Brown, who is the catalyst and founder of the school, has personally experienced how the education industry can be limiting for students of color.
“Although I attended some of New York City’s top schools as a student, access to that level of education was not available in my low-income community. This experience has led me to my mission to build and lead a high-performing school that directly serves students living in some of San Antonio’s most distressed neighborhoods,” Brown said, who began his career in education as a social studies teacher in Brooklyn, NY.

Brown has since managed programming and communications for the City of San Antonio’s Office of EastPoint and served as the director of operations and interim CEO of San Antonio Growth on the Eastside, where he supported STEM instruction in the San Antonio Independent School District and oversaw a $23.7 million Promise Neighborhood grant. Brown has also served as director of communications and policy for San Antonio’s City Council District 2 and was the director of people operations at Compass Rose Academy. He holds a Bachelor of Science in political science from South Carolina State University and is pursuing a master’s in organizational leadership from Our Lady of the Lake University.

. . . achieving a passing score is commendable, but it is not our gauge for overall student success and pursuit of excellence.

For parents unfamiliar with public charter schools, Essence Prep has to follow strict curriculum guidelines to prepare every student to not only “pass” but excel on the annual state STAAR test.
According to Essence Prep, “achieving a passing score is commendable, but it is not our gauge for overall student success and pursuit of excellence. At Essence Prep, all of our scholars know and understand that education is a privilege and a necessary tool for success in life.”

Brown emphasized that Essence Prep seeks to provide students with the pathways to an opportunity lacking in many areas of the city. Students will grapple with real-world issues and develop the skills necessary to be effective agents of change. The school will adopt community-building traditions like morning circle meetings and weekly family gatherings and use a “whole self” curriculum to teach social and emotional learning skills.

“Our school should be an environment where children learn the skills they need to advocate for themselves and the needs of their communities after graduation,” Brown added.
Essence Prep is currently accepting students entering kindergarten through the fifth grade and will scale to serve students in the 8th grade in the near future. The school will also provide free transportation within a five-mile radius of its location.

Families who do not have their own homes or have been displaced and students in foster or kinship care may register without certain documents. Contact Essence Prep for more information at (210) 446-9882 or visit its website at (www.EssencePrepSA.org).

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