Twenty-seven-year-old Jessica Brown, also known as the College Gurl, is serious about making sure underserved, underresourced students have access to information about college and college financing.
Brown, national spokesperson of College Financing for the renowned dfree Financial Freedom Movement, has even started her own nonprofit: The College Gurl Foundation. Last month, the organization went on its first college tour, exposing 22 public school students—16 young women and six young men—to historically black colleges in the South, among others.
Along with four mentors, Brown and the students visited the following campuses: Clark Atlanta University, Spelman College, Morehouse College, Emory University, and South Carolina State University.
The students learned about a variety of colleges, careers, and mentorship opportunities. Now many are open to attending school outside the Delaware-Maryland-Virginia region, Brown told me in an email.
“Students now understand that HBCUs are more diverse than they thought,” Brown said. “They all now feel as if they are more prepared to apply to college. They had an amazing time.”
The tour was sponsored by AT&T, dfree Financial Freedom, and Washington Redskins player Ty Nsekhe. It was free to the students.
“Additionally, I raised money in 30 days through GoFundMe and private donors to cover the remaining expenses,” Brown said. She and other mentors will be following up with the students throughout the year.