Media Contacts:

Ashlei Stevens, UNCF     Tel: 202.210.0862  Email: astevens@uncf.org

Monique Linder ,UNCF   Tel: 612.787.8705 Email: Monique@omgdigitalmediasolutions.com

Press Release

UNCF’s Empower Me Tour, Presented by Target, Comes to the Oakland Scottish Rite Center on October 27th

UNCF Empower Me Tour is a full day of on-site college admissions, scholarship awards and workshops aimed at giving students and parents the tools to get them to and through college

OAKLAND, CA (Oct. 25, 2016) —UNCF (United Negro College Fund), in partnership with Target and Wells Fargo, will bring its nationwide Empower Me Tour (EMT) to Oakland on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016. The tour was created eight years ago by Wells Fargo to inspire students to take control of their futures by pursuing a four-year college degree and graduating with an education that prepares them for the challenges they will face in the 21st century and beyond. Over 700 high school students from the Oakland Unified School District are expected to participate in a day comprised of admissions and financial aid workshops facilitated by award-winning authors, motivational speakers and presenters.  Recruiters from some of the nation’s historically black colleges and universities will be on hand to offer onsite admissions to the universities and academic scholarships.

The EMT kicked-off in Minneapolis, then headed to Chicago with a total of 136 students admitted to a UNCF-member historically black colleges and universities (HBCU) and awarded a total of $979,000 in scholarships.  The UNCF EMT rewards students of color for their high academic achievements with four-year scholarships to help them get to and through college. There are 19 high schools in OSCU that will register students to attend the Empower Me Tour.

“Today, OUSD students are better positioned to succeed than they’ve ever been in the history of Oakland, CA”, said Superintendent Antwan Wilson, in his third year of implementation of his Pathway to Excellence strategy plan.  “These words are real and a fact that students and parents should proud of.  Today, more students graduate than ever before and are prepared to enter a four-year college and university.  This success is achieved by investing in our schools and employees.”

The UNCF EMT, presented by Target and also sponsored by Wells Fargo, FedEx and P&G, has a high rate of graduates from Oakland who attend HBCUs.

In 2015, graduation rates among African American male students in the Oakland Unified School District reached 59.7 percent, a 6.9 percentage point increase over the 2014 rate of 52.6 percent, according to the California Department of Education. Latino students showed a 1.5 percent increase, with a graduation rate of 55.9 percent in 2015, up from 54.4 percent in 2014. 

“Our supporters’ commitment and financial support to UNCF and EMT helps black students get through college successfully is highly commendable, grounded in shared values and is very much appreciated,” said Paulette Jackson, vice president of national development, UNCF. “Our partners truly know the value of supporting communities by providing the opportunity of higher education. Target is a leading sponsor in enabling UNCF to close the education gap that divides communities and perpetuates poverty. These goals would not be possible without support from partners like Target, FedEx, P&G and our founding sponsor, Wells Fargo.”

“Target is honored to sponsor UNCF’s Empower Me Tour and to help transform young lives through the power of education,” said Laysha Ward, executive vice president and chief corporate social responsibility officer at Target. “​By helping kids graduate from high school and get into and through college, we’re helping to provide a pathway to more opportunities.”

“The UNCF Empower Me Tour makes the dream of higher education a reality for many young people in America by equipping students and parents with the information, tools and resources they need,” said Gigi Dixon, Director of Strategic Partnerships for Wells Fargo. “Wells Fargo is pleased to team up with UNCF once again to provide these essential resources for students and their families so that they can make informed decisions about how they will get to and through college successfully.”

The EMT travels to Rochester, NY next on Nov. 14 for the last tour stop of 2016.  

For more information on the UNCF Empower Me Tour, visit www.EmpowerMeTour.org.

Instagram: @UNCF. . . #EmpowerMeTour

Twitter: @UNCF . . .#EmpowerMeTour

Facebook: UNCF


About UNCF: UNCF (United Negro College Fund) is the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization. To serve youth, the community and the nation, UNCF supports students’ education and development through scholarships and other programs, strengthens its 37 member colleges and universities, and advocates for the importance of minority education and college readiness. UNCF institutions and other historically black colleges and universities are highly effective, awarding 20 percent of African American baccalaureate degrees. UNCF administers more than 400 programs, including scholarship, internship and fellowship, mentoring, summer enrichment, and curriculum and faculty development programs. Today, UNCF supports more than 60,000 students at more than 1,100 colleges and universities across the country.  Its logo features the UNCF torch of leadership in education and its widely recognized motto, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste”. Learn more at www.UNCF.org, or for continuous news and updates, follow UNCF on Twitter, @UNCF and #UNCFEmpowerMeTour.