An event this month raised $343,000 for Wilmington’s 2023 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Week.
The 4th Annual HBCU Week Awards Gala, held June 9 at the Hotel Dupont in downtown Wilmington, raised money to support the city’s annual HBCU Week initiative.
The dates for this year’s HBCU week have not been announced, but more info is expected to be released soon here.
HBCU Week is designed to expose high-school aged youth to the proud legacies and historical significance of HBCUs, and encourage students to further their education at one of the more than 100 such institutions across the United States.
The gala is the start of Wilmington’s yearly celebration of HBCUs leading to HBCU Week and the a college fair in September, with thousands of young students exploring their academic options after high school.
This fair is unique in that most of the participating colleges engage in an on-the-spot acceptance process.
If the student attends with a copy of their transcript and a report of their SAT/ACT score, they could be admitted into college right away and potentially offered a scholarship award.
Since 2017, more than 6,000 on-the-spot acceptances have been offered and more than $60 million in scholarships have been awarded from the HBCU admission staff and corporate partnerships.
Howard University’s Nia Anderson and Kayla Bell-Davis, along with North Carolina AT&T State University’s Simone Josey and Jazmine Harrison, were honored as scholars at the fundraising gala.
Each of them had received a $40,000 Future of Chemistry Scholarship in 2019 and have now graduated with honors from their universities.
The inaugural Mike Purzycki Changemaker Scholarship, named Wilmington’s mayor, was awarded to Alahni Napier, a recent graduate of the Charter School of Wilmington.
She’ll use the $10,000 to attend Morgan State University in Baltimore.
Also honored at the gala was Lance Gross and Tamika Mallory.
Gross is an actor, producer and photographer, who received the HBCU Week Trailblazer Award, which recognizes an HBCU alum who has a record of outstanding achievements in their respective industry and paved the way for those coming behind them.
Mallory, co-founder of Until Freedom, a non-profit focused on community activism, education and rapid response around tragedies resulting from injustice, received the HBCU Week Social Impact Award.
That award recognizes an HBCU alum and/or advocate who has demonstrated significant, positive changes that address social justice issues.
Raised in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, Jarek earned a B.A. in journalism and a B.A. in political science from Temple University in 2021. After running CNN’s Michael Smerconish’s YouTube channel, Jarek became a reporter for the Bucks County Herald before joining Delaware LIVE News.
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