Melonie Wright had tons of obstacles set up against her when she was younger. As a child in school, she was considered a special education student. Then in her adult life, she was faced with getting pregnant at a young age, and was also homeless. But that didn’t stop Melonie from achieving her goals. Next month, Melonie will graduate from Emory University Law School!
The site reports that this is the second such award for the college in the last two years and the money will be used to launch seminar-styled education sessions on campus, with a focus on substance abuse prevention among college-age youth to prevent risky sexual behaviors.
The grant is reportedly part of a national initiative launched by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration targeting HBCUs as service delivery partners in vulnerable areas.
Morris Brown, founded in 1816 as one of only a few historically black colleges and universities founded by African Americans, has served as a lead institution in the program since 2014 to help improve public health outcomes among youth in Fulton and Dekalb Counties.
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The Northrop Grumman Foundation and the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) have launched a three-year, $2-million program designed to expand the nation’s engineering workforce through a partnership with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The Northrop Grumman Corporation/NSBE Integrated Pipeline Program will provide 72 engineering students with $8,000 scholarship grants, internships with Northrop Grumman and year-round academic and professional development support.
The program’s three HBCU partners — Florida A&M University, Howard University and North Carolina A&T State University — will receive grants, technical assistance and a package of programs researched and managed by NSBE, to increase their already high capacity to recruit, retain and graduate engineers. NSBE is one of the largest student-governed professional societies based in the United States.
“Northrop Grumman and the Northrop Grumman Foundation are committed to helping improve science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education to ensure a future workforce that can protect our nation and maintain our global leadership,” said Sandra Evers-Manly, Northrop Grumman vice president, global corporate responsibility and president of the Northrop Grumman Foundation. “Our partnership with NSBE will help us achieve that goal and develop the pipeline of diverse talent that is so important to our company and our society’s future.”
“We are delighted to receive this endorsement of our work from one of America’s most innovative companies,” said NSBE Executive Director Karl W. Reid, Ed.D. “For years, we have spoken about the vital role that engineering diversity plays in our national economy and national security. Northrop Grumman’s investment in this program illustrates that they understand the need exists and are willing to do something about it. This fact is reflected not only in their longtime support of NSBE but also in the high ratings the company receives from our membership.”
The first cohort of 24 Northrop Grumman Corporation/NSBE scholars will be selected in December, and their participation in the Pipeline Program will be kicked off with a summit meeting in March 2017, during NSBE’s 43rd Annual Convention in Kansas City, Mo. Summer internships for the first cohort will begin in May 2017.
Dr. Alvin S. Perry is a charismatic serial entrepreneur on a mission to promote positive self-image and dressing for success through his latest business venture.
The self-confessed fashion geek first came up with the idea for PV Designs Inc. during his busy roster of speaking engagements, where he was well known for his ability to inspire others and his impeccable sense of personal style.
Marked by his signature accessory, the self-tied bow tie, Dr. Perry would often attend conventions clad in a traditional two-piece suit with his youngest child in tow. The father and son duo wore stylish matching bow ties, which made a lasting impression among fellow conference attendees.
This sparked the idea to create a boutique fashion brand that specializes in unisex neckwear and quality accessories, along with a premium reversible bow tie collection for the entire family. “The compliments provided the validation needed to move forward with a new venture,” says Perry.
Since his initial $250 investment, business has been booming, with over $25,000 in sales generated within the first year.
Much of the company’s success can be attributed to Perry’s business savvy and hustle mentality. He utilizes a rare combination of street smarts, academic excellence, proven success as a serial entrepreneur, and management experience climbing the corporate ladder at Fortune 500 companies.
“The first seven bow tie sets were sold for $100 each to guys that were in my network who loved bow ties,” says Perry, who sold select samples to test the market as he finished off his doctorate degree in entrepreneurship from Walden University.
After working hard to source a manufacturer, PV Designs’ [which started out as PV Neckwear/ P5 Neckwear] first major client was Fort Valley State University. The HBCU spent a large sum of money on four custom-designed bow ties. Ever since then Perry has been working hard shipping his products across the country and the globe.
Norman Francis was just a few years into his tenure as president of Xavier University of Louisiana, a small Catholic institution in New Orleans, when a report that came across his desk alarmed him. It was an accounting of the nation’s medical students, and it found that the already tiny number of black students attending medical school was dropping.
It was the 1970s, at the tail end of the civil rights movement. Francis, a black man in his early 40s, had spent most of his life under the suffocating apartheid of the Jim Crow South. But after decades of hard-fought battles and the passage of three major civil rights laws, doors were supposed to be opening, not closing. Francis, the son of a hotel bellhop, had stepped through one of those doors himself when he became the first black student to be admitted to Loyola University’s law school in 1952.
Francis believed he was in a unique position to address the dearth of black doctors. Xavier served a nearly all-black student body of just over 1,300. At the time, most of Xavier’s science department was housed in an old surplus Army building donated to the college by the military after World War II. It had no air-conditioning, and the heater was so loud in the winter that instructors had to switch it off to be heard. But the science program had always been strong, if underfunded, and began producing its first medical-school students not long after the university was founded in 1925.
Today, Xavier’s campus is mostly wedged between a canal and the Pontchartrain Expressway in Gert Town, a neighborhood in the western part of New Orleans. It has some 3,000 students and consistently produces more black students who apply to and then graduate from medical school than any other institution in the country. More than big state schools like Michigan or Florida. More than elite Ivies like Harvard and Yale. Xavier is also first in the nation in graduating black students with bachelor’s degrees in biology and physics. It is among the top four institutions graduating black pharmacists. It is third in the nation in black graduates who go on to earn doctorates in science and engineering.
Xavier has accomplished this without expansive, high-tech facilities — its entire science program is housed in a single complex. It has accomplished this while charging tuition that, at $19,800 a year, is considerably less than that of many private colleges and flagship public universities. It has accomplished this without filling its classrooms with the nation’s elite black students. Most of Xavier’s students are the first in their families to attend college, and more than half come from lower-income homes.
‘‘The question always comes: ‘Well, how did this happen, and why are we No.1?’ ’’ said Francis, who recently retired from Xavier after 47 years as president. We were sitting in the dining room of his stately home in the Lake Terrace neighborhood on a sweltering day in August as he thought about the answer. ‘‘We decided we could do something about it. And what we did, what our faculty did, was just plain common sense.’’
HBCU Xavier University of Louisiana will hold its third annual Give. Love. Xavier Day – an online, social media-driven fundraising event – from 12:00 a.m. to midnight, June 2nd.
The event encourages alumni and friends to come together for one day to show their support for the University with financial contributions. Participants are encouraged to post about the event via social networks (such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter) to spread the excitement and encourage their friends and followers to give. Conversations also are encouraged by sharing the hashtag #GLXU15, connecting to @XULAalumni website, and visitinghttp://www.xula.edu/giveloveto pledge and see real-time results.
This year’s theme is, “Thank You, Dr. Francis”, in honor of retiring XU President Dr. Norman Francis.
Dr. Kenneth St. Charles, XU Vice President for Institutional Advancement, said all gifts made online that day go directly to the Annual Fund, which supports scholarships and other important University programs. The donor goal for this year’s campaign is 2,470 individuals.
“Members of the Xavier community coming together like this showcases the spirit of our University,” St. Charles said. “Part of our mission is to prepare students to assume roles of leadership and service in the global society and these alumni are taking on the responsibility of preserving that tradition. Their donations to the Annual Fund make a vital difference in the lives of current students.”
Tom Joyner, chairman and founder of the Tom Joyner Foundation, said, “I’m hoping alumni, friends, family and other supporters, will show some love by making a gift to Xavier. This is a great way to help out this great HBCU.”
Last year a total of $275,100 was contributed by nearly 1,200 donors, far surpassing the $120,000 collected in the inaugural year of the event.
A key element of Give. Love. Xavier Day is the use of alumni captains to spur interest among fellow alumni, as well as the establishment of key Challenge Grant incentives: dollar for dollar matches that are realized when alumni and friends made their donations on Give. Love. Xavier Day. This year’s event has nearly $135,000 in matching challenge grants which will only be realized if Xavierites and friends make gifts on June 2nd.
“All of last year’s Challenge Grant Initiatives were met,” said Kim Reese, XU Director of Alumni Relations. “Those matches brought in an extra $90,000 in pledges, making many of our donor dollars twice as impactful!”
The Walt Disney Company recently announced a $1 million commitment to the United Negro College Fund (UNCF).
The UNCF, one of the leading minority scholarship organizations, will use the money to provide scholarships to outstanding African American students in underserved communities across the country, while expanding educational and career resources for them. The UNCF traditionally serves low-income youth who are the first in their families to go to college, with more than 50 percent coming from families whose incomes are less than $30,000 per year.
The Walt Disney Company UNCF Corporate Scholars will be selected based on a competitive application process administered by UNCF. To be considered, applicants must be enrolled full-time at a four-year college or university, demonstrate financial need, have a minimum cumulative 2.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale, and have an interest in pursuing a career in the entertainment industry.
The application process opens March 16 and closes May 15. Preference will be given to students attending a Historically Black College or University (HBCU) to ensure 50% of each group are derived from these schools.
“UNCF works to ensure our future leaders have the opportunity to obtain the college degrees they need, and our nation needs them to have,” UNCF president and CEO Michael L. Lomax said. “The Walt Disney Company UNCF Corporate Scholars Program expands their academic training into practical experiences, to create a diverse pipeline of college educated professionals poised to assume fulfilling careers in the entertainment industry. The investment we are making in better futures for them now will pay dividends in years to come when they become our next generation of leaders.”
Seniors gearing up for graduation at Howard University can breathe a little easier now; the Mecca is implementing a new practice that will surely lower some of those Sallie Mae student loans.
Starting next year, the university will cover 50 percent of a student’s final semester if they graduate early or on time. Now there’s some incentive to fast-track your matriculation. Students pay about $11,900 per semester — that leaves students who graduate on time with an extra $6,000 floating around. And as Derek Kindle, Howard’s executive director of student financial services points out, the program actually saves students more money, since they won’t be spending dollars on additional semesters.
According to CNN Money, about 46 percent of Howard University students graduate in four years. The national average is 39 percent.
That means close to half of students graduating from the university will be able to participate in the program. As CNN points out, however, the famous school isn’t the first to offer such a program.
Howard’s tuition rebate program is “relatively uncommon,” said Robert Kelchen, an education professor at Seton Hall University.
At public colleges in Texas, students earn a $1,000 rebate if they finish on time. And some schools, such as Eastern Illinois University, offer a guaranteed tuition ratefor four years. After that, the cost for any additional credits would go up.
But Howard is adding some icing to the cake — the university will freeze tuition next year, sticking with the $22,737 education price tag.
Alabama State University recently announced that they received $1 million in federal grants for STEM programs, a major accomplishment for the institution.
The university’s Biological Sciences department will receive $770,000 to form a three institution partnership to include Auburn University and Tuskegee University. Through the partnership will come research and employment opportunities for students or color pursuing careers in STEM industries.
According to the principle investigator of the research project, the funding will have a tremendous impact on their doctoral students.
The remaining $330,000 will go to the university’s Center for NanoBiotechnology Research. The funding will be used for chlamydia research. The researches at Alabama State have been charged with using the grant funding to create a nanovaccine for the disease.
LOUISVILLE – Simmons College has become accredited as the first private Historically Black College and University in Kentucky and is only the second HBCU in the state, along with Kentucky State University, a public institution.
“Simply put, accreditation is value,” explained President Kevin Cosby. “It is proof that Simmons has met national standards necessary to produce graduates who are prepared to enter into selected professions.” He explained, “The accreditation of Simmons College of Kentucky will have a ripple effect throughout west Louisville and the Commonwealth of Kentucky and is the most monumental achievement, by African Americans, to take place in the state in the last 100 years.”
Most HBCUs were founded in the post-Civil War era, when Blacks were not allowed to attend college with Whites. Today, many private HBCUs are struggling to remain keep their doors open. Last summer, St. Paul’s College, a private Black institution in Lawrenceville, Va., ceased operating after being in existence since 1888. Its 35 buildings and 183 acres have been put up for public auction.