Go Where You’re Celebrated, Not Tolerated: UNCF’s Empower Me Tour Returns to In-Person Events After 2 Years of Virtual Events

Go Where You’re Celebrated, Not Tolerated: UNCF’s Empower Me Tour Returns to In-Person Events After 2 Years of Virtual Events

The United Negro College Fund’s (UNCF) Empower Me Tour is returning to in-person events after two years of virtual events.

The UNCF Empower Me Tour is a national series of events designed to inspire and motivate high school students, college students, and recent college graduates toward academic and career success.

The annual free event consists of resume advice and tips, scholarships, internships, and on-site career opportunities to continue UNCF’s mission to ensure students are well prepared and ready for school and to join the workforce.

This year’s tour will begin Friday, Sept. 30 at Shaw University in North Carolina. Stacey Lee Spratt, the director of the Empower Me Tour, said the event at Shaw will focus on career readiness.

“What we’re focused on here is preparing our college students for success in terms of job opportunities.”

Spratt, who has been with UNCF for nine years told BLACK ENTERPRISE, “We’re also preparing them for entrepreneurship. We really want our students to be engaged, involved, and ready when they graduate from  Shaw University or whatever college they attend.”

Other stops on the UNCF Empower Me Tour this year include colleges in Wisconsin, Fort Worth, Texas, and more.

“We’re really focusing on graduating seniors learning about HBCUs,” Spratt added.

“Our UNCF HBCUs will be on-site offering full scholarships, we’re also giving away more than $100,000 in scholarships for those high school graduates to attend HBCUs, we also have great content during these tour stops including speakers discussing financial aid, scholarships, and how to pay for college.”

UNCF has been helping Black students get into college and jump-start their careers for more than 75 years and is the largest private provider of educational support to minority students raising more than $4 billion in support of Black and Brown students.

Spratt believes HBCUs provide Black students with a place where they can interact with students and faculty who understand them, look like them, and can do more than just acknowledge their presence when it’s convenient. One of the things that make Spratt, who attended Clark Atlanta University, proud is seeing the uptick in popularity and applications HBCUs have received in recent years.

“I come from an HBCU family, so seeing how many companies, corporations, and people are now giving so much money back to HBCUs is excellent and something that should’ve been happening,” Spratt told BLACK ENTERPRISE.

“It’s also great to see that our students are really trying to attend HBCUs so they can feel at home, so they can be motivated by people and teachers that have the same background as them because you want to go somewhere you’re not just tolerated, but celebrated when attending college.”