SPARTANBURG, S.C. (August 15, 2019) –As part of a national campaign to raise awareness about hunger and increase access to education, Denny's has partnered with National Council of Negro Women, Inc. (NCNW), the Tom Joyner Foundation and PUSH Excel to sponsor the 2019 NCNW Hungry for Education Tour of seven Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).
The tour, organized by NCNW, marks the seventh year of the Denny's Hungry for Education Scholarship Program. The major initiative will kick off with a press conference at 10 a.m. August 16 at the NCNW national headquarters' Dorothy I. Height Building, 633 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. John Miller, Denny's president and CEO, April Kelly-Drummond, head of Diversity, Equality, Inclusion & Multicultural Engagement, Johnnetta Betsch Cole, NCNW's national president, and Janice Mathis, executive director of NCNW, will be among the officials participating in the event, which is open to the media.
Beginning in September 2019, the NCNW 2019 HFE HBCU Tour will visit seven campuses in six cities to encourage college enrollment, academic excellence, and career preparation for students of all backgrounds. Tour stops will be South Carolina State University and Claflin University, Orangeburg, S.C. (Sept. 7); Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, Fla. (Sept. 14); Clark Atlanta University, Atlanta, Ga. (Sept. 21); Howard University, Washington, D.C. (Sept. 28); Wilberforce University, Wilberforce, Ohio, (Nov. 2); and Texas Southern University, Houston, Texas (Nov. 6).
As part of its annual Hungry for Education Scholarship Program, Denny's will be awarding more than $200,000 in scholarships this year to high school and college students who apply this fall. During each stop along the HBCU Tour, Denny's also will provide $500 meal scholarships to four high school students and four college students, totaling $4,000 at each college stop. The meal scholarships will be a direct tie-in to Denny's efforts to address food insecurity on HBCU campuses and an extension of the meal swipe initiative, created by Mary-Pat Hector, winner of the HFE scholarship.
During the tour stops, activities will include panel discussions with celebrity HBCU alumni, marching band performances, campus tours, an overview of campus life including admissions, financial aid, and career counseling, information sessions about Denny's Hungry for Education scholarships and the opportunity to explore careers at Denny's. Participating high school students also will have the opportunity to meet current college students, professors, and potential employers.
Denny's Hungry for Education Scholarship Program recognizes and rewards students who show initiative and creativity in the fight against childhood hunger. Partnering with leading nonprofit minority advocacy organizations, Denny's Hungry for Education program has awarded more than $1,000,000 in scholarships to deserving elementary, high school, and college students since its inception. Just as importantly, the program has implemented student-generated ideas for reducing childhood hunger.
“At Denny's, we have found that supporting HBCUs is an incredibly effective way to invest in the diverse communities we serve,” said April Kelly-Drummond, head of Diversity Equality Inclusion & Multicultural Engagement. “HBCUs make up only 3 percent of the colleges and universities in the United States, yet they produce 23 percent of African-American college graduates.”
Denny's President and CEO John Miller said that, “The Hungry for Education Scholarship program benefits the scholarship recipients, of course, but when those students use their scholarships at HBCUs, it's like we're investing that scholarship twice—once in today's student and once in the future students who will benefit from the incredible work that HBCUs are doing.”
Janice Mathis, executive director of NCNW, added, "NCNW is very pleased to have great partners like Denny's, and our HBCU destinations to help us spread the good news that nothing levels the playing field like education.”
Promoting the importance of HBCUs is critical to these school's success, said Thomas Joyner, chairman and CEO of the Tom Joyner Foundation, “HBCUs have played and still play a key role in providing a nurturing, tough-love environment for so many students over the years. We've been working with Denny's for more than 18 years, and this tour is another example of how we work together to celebrate these schools and give students access to the information and scholarships needed to help them succeed.”
For media interested in attending the press conference, please contact Neil Foote at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Denny’s Corp.
Denny's is one of America's largest full-service family restaurant chains, currently operating more than 1,700 franchised, licensed, and company-owned restaurants across the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Philippines, New Zealand, Honduras, the United Arab Emirates, Costa Rica, Guam, Guatemala, the United Kingdom, Aruba, El Salvador, and Indonesia. For further information on Denny's, including news releases, please visit the Denny's website at www.dennys.com or the brand’s social channels via Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram or YouTube.
National Council of Negro Women is a Washington, D.C.-based charitable organization making a difference in the lives of women, children, and families through a four- pronged strategy that emphasizes entrepreneurship, health equity, STEAM education and civic engagement. Founded nearly 85 years ago, NCNW has 290 community and campus bases sections and thirty-two national affiliates representing more than Two Million women and men. Johnnetta Betsch Cole, Ph.D. is seventh President of NCNW. For more information or to register for the NCNW Hungry for Education Tour, please visit www.ncnw.org.
The Tom Joyner Foundation (http://tomjoynerfoundation.org) was founded in 1998 as the brainchild of nationally syndicated radio personality Tom Joyner. The mission of the Foundation is to support historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) with scholarships, endowments and capacity-building enhancements. The Foundation has provided necessary support to every HBCU in its 22-year history to help sustain and preserve the legacies of these valuable institutions. Through fundraising and donor development initiatives, in excess of $66 million has been raised to support more than 31,000 students attending HBCUs. Additionally, the Foundation has recommended internships, offered matching grant support, and career development to deserving students. You can follow us on Facebook.
PUSH Excel strives to be a world leader in promoting educational excellence and equity in funding and allocation of educational resources so that every child is guaranteed an opportunity to receive a quality education. The mission of PUSH Excel is to promote education excellence by engaging the stakeholders in education to work collaboratively to create opportunities, transform the lives of students and improve communities. Davida Mathis, a South Carolina lawyer, volunteers with PUSH Excel to produce King Legacy Week, an innovative introduction to higher education and STEAM careers for SC youth.