Nas Becomes 'The Voice of Hennessy' to Empower HBCU Students - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise magazine Fall 2019 issue

Legendary hip-hop artist Nasir “Nas” Jones has teamed up with Hennessy and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) to uplift graduate students of color attending historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). The Queens-born rapper can be heard narrating a video promoting the Hennessy Fellows Program, a $10 million graduate scholarship initiative launched earlier this year to empower young African American leaders through financial assistance, access, and real-world work experience.

“I’m proud to lend my voice to encourage enrollment in the Hennessy Fellows Program, a new graduate program created for students who want to blaze their own trails and pursue their dreams, regardless of the challenges,” said Jones in a statement sent to BLACK ENTERPRISE.

“Hennessy’s mantra is all about pushing the limits of one’s potential and breaking down barriers. ‘Never stop. Never settle,’ is more than a slogan. It is the creative engine driving our partnership and the motivational compass directing me to push for new limits every day—in the studio, on the stage, and in business. Thurgood Marshall College Fund’s mission of “changing the world… one leader at a time” is right in line with pushing those same boundaries,” he added.

Hennessy

(Courtesy of BCW and Hennessy)

The announcement spotlights the second selection for the Hennessy Fellows program, which was designed to prepare HBCU students for leadership roles at major organizations in the job market and create a diverse pipeline of highly qualified talent over the next 10 years.

The unprecedented million-dollar initiative selects 10 high-achieving, high-potential graduate students per year and offers them a one-of-a-kind opportunity. Recipients are awarded financial assistance along with curated corporate development experiences, including training forums and networking opportunities. According to a press release, Hennessy Fellow participants will receive:

  • Scholarship up to $20,000 per academic year
  • $10,000 annual stipend for other educational expenses
  • Opportunity to compete for a community-related project grant up to $10,000
  • 1:1 executive coaching
  • Access to online training forums, networking events, and professional advancement experiences
  • Development of leadership and soft skills via exclusive opportunities and experiences
  • Attend an immersive boot camp in the summer of 2020

To be selected for the program, students must be enrolled in accredited HBCU programs with a minimum GPA of 3.25. Students must also demonstrate leadership experience, strong ethical and moral character, academic excellence, and cultural awareness.

Applications for the Hennessy Fellows program are open now through Dec. 31st, 2019. The 10 selected Fellows for Cohort II will be announced early next year.

Watch the video below.