UNCF’s HBCU Empower Me Tour Visits Dillard University to Inspire Youth to Build Wealth

The United Negro College Fund – in partnership with The Wachovia Foundation and the Manifest your Destiny Foundation, hosted activities at Dillard University last Saturday, to motivate and inspire minority students to use education as a tool for achieving their goals and dreams. UNCF’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Empower Me Tour features actor and best-selling author Hill Harper, and offered students advice on how to save and invest money, volunteer their time, talents and resources, and play active roles in their communities. UNCF’s HBCU Empower Me Tour is funded by The Wachovia Foundation.

“The best investment a young person can make is to pursue the highest level of formal education,” said Harper. “My primary objective for this tour is for students to better understand how a quality education influences their future success, both personally and monetarily. Instilling optimism in today’s youth and encouraging them to invest in their futures ultimately results in stronger communities.”

UNCF’s HBCU Empower Me Tour kicked off at Howard University in Washington DC and Hampton University, in September 2008. Dillard University is the ninth stop on the tour. For more information on the tour and for registration, visit www.empowermetour.org.

“As the nation’s largest provider of college financial assistance to minority and low-income students, UNCF is committed to ensuring our students understand the importance of financial responsibility,” said Michael L. Lomax, Ph.D., UNCF president and CEO. “We are excited to partner with the Wachovia Foundation and the Manifest your Destiny Foundation to promote and instill financial literacy among students so they can achieve not only their dreams of becoming future doctors, teachers, and entrepreneurs but also prepare a foundation for a successful, secure financial future.”

In addition to “A Conversation” with Hill Harper, students had a chance to visit The Empower Me Tour Zone – an interactive experience for middle school, high school and college students, providing them an opportunity to meet with corporate recruiters, learn about volunteer opportunities, scholarships, win prizes, take red carpet photos and even register for Wachovia’s “Way to Save a Million Dollars” workshop. Students were also able to participate in a video diary contest, telling their personal story regarding why they chose to attend an HBCU or what makes them unique. The best story was awarded a one-on-one meeting with Hill Harper and an opportunity to apply for the Empower Me scholarship. Winning videos can be viewed in the “Your Zone” section of the empowermetour.org website.

Empower Me Tour Zone sponsor and strategic alliance partner representatives from Fed Ex, Amtrak, Ford Motor Company, Teach For America, the S.E.L.F. Show and UNCF were on hand to share information with students.

“Wachovia recognizes the need to bring financial education to middle school, high school and college students in hopes that they can leverage what they learn to build wealth and financial stability,” said Gigi Dixon, senior vice president and Director of National Partnerships for Wachovia. “This series of educational activities is directly in line with our community development financial literacy program and The Wachovia Foundation’s commitment to provide access to higher education, and our hope is that the students who participate in the tour will gain a sense of pride and optimism about their future.”