The United Negro College Fund (UNCF) wrapped up its 11-stop HBCU Empower Me Tour in the city on Saturday. Partnering with the Department of Education, UNCF attracted hundreds of area middle school and high school students to attend the event held at Hunter College to learn more about college readiness, the admissions process, financial aid and personal development.
The all-day program included a college fair where students learned more about various historically Black colleges and universities (HBUCs) that are members of UNCF. Local alumni from schools including Virginia Union University, Morehouse College, Spelman College and Hampton University were on hand to talk to prospective undergraduates.
Parents also attended workshops to learn more about preparing their children for college. Representatives from the Gates Millennium Scholars Program were also on hand speaking to families about winning one of the 1,000 full scholarships the program offers.
Students were treated to a tour of Hunter College to get a first hand look at a college campus and other activities including fitness games, demonstrations on healthy eating and panel discussions. College admissions officers also did one-on-one sessions with students via Skype video conferencing.
Several celebrities partnered with UNCF in an effort to encourage students to get energized about going to college. Saturday’s event brought out actress Tatyana Ali, Kim Coles, singer Ledisi and actor Boris Kodjoe.
Before coming to New York, the UNCF HBCU Empower Me Tour made stops in other schools and cities including Los Angeles, Chicago, Newark, Clark Atlanta University and Tuskegee University. Stopping in urban cities was UNCF’s effort to reach students in places where HBCUs are often not close by.
“The tour has been phenomenal,” Monica Newman-McCluney from UNCF. “We want young people to get an understanding of what they need to do to get best prepared to go to college. This is our third year and overall we’ve touched over 35,000 students.”