*Los Angeles, CA — Hundreds of Los Angeles high school graduating seniors filled the Hyatt Hotel LAX today during the UNCF (United Negro College Fund) Empower Me Tour (EMT) for a chance to win thousands in scholarships. EMTis a free, traveling college-and-career-readiness roadshow that provides a platform for high school students to earn on-site scholarships and admission to the nation’s top historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).
Five students were surprised on the spot with a $2,500 scholarship each. Christian Dixon, Mohamad Lorenzano and Jada Salazar of Susan Miller Dorsey High Schoolwere all top winners. Samad Acklin of Early College High Schooland Kiara Phillips ofUSC Media Arts High Schoolalso took home the top prize. “Every night I hear helicopters and police sirens,” says Samad Acklin. “This experience has pushed me to make education priority. I must establish a successful career as a plastic surgeon to provide for my family. This scholarship makes college a reality instead of just a dream,” adds the 17-year-old winner.
UNCF is the largest scholarship provider to students of color, awarding $100 million annually in scholarships to more than 10,000 students across the country. Several top celebrities are graduates of HBCUs. Actress Taraji P. Henson is a 1995 alumna of Howard University; Terrence J. graduated from North Carolina A&T University; Rapper, Actor, Activist Common is graduate of FAMU, Samuel Jackson is proud alumus of Morehouse College, Oprah is a proud alumna of Tennessee State University.
UNCF winner Jada Salazar grew up in the foster care system and despite her adversities, she vows to fight against injustices. “Although I’ve been abused physically and verbally, applying for colleges and exploring opportunities help me to know that I can strive,” says the 17-year-old with hopes of attending Spelman College in Atlanta.
Through partnerships with theLos Angeles area public school districts, parents, national sponsors Wells Fargo, Target, P&G and FedEx, EMT offers access to information and recruiters from HBCUs, college prep workshops, dynamic presenters, and award-winning educational experts. Students will have an opportunity to apply for college admission, financial aid and scholarships including the EMT Merit Scholarship, presented in partnership with Target on the spot.
Los Angeles is the fifth of six stops on the Empower Me Tour. Other cities on the tour include Fort Worth, TX; Cincinnati, OH; Chicago, IL; Milwaukee, WI and Atlanta, GA. For more information, visit: www.EmpowerMeTour.org. You can follow EMT on social media @UNCF #EmpowerMeTour.
About UNCF: UNCF (United Negro College Fund) is the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization. To serve youth, the community and the nation, UNCF supports students’ education and development through scholarships and other programs, strengthens its 37 member colleges and universities, and advocates for the importance of minority education and college readiness. Today, UNCF supports more than 60,000 students at more than 1,100 colleges and universities across the country. Learn more at www.UNCF.org, or for continuous news and updates, follow UNCF on Twitter, @UNCFand #EmpowerMeTour.
Tenisha Taylor Bell, President & CEO
Perfect Pitch Media Group, LLC
Twitter: @Pitch2Media AND @TenishaTBell