Wayne State hosted the United Negro College Fund’s Empower Me Tour Nov. 3, which traveled to 10 cities across the country. The event started at 8 a.m. in the WSU Community Arts Auditorium, and then proceeded to the Student Center Building.
While in Detroit, the tour focused on the city’s youth taking control of the financial future. Several stations were set up, and guest speakers spoke about goal setting, resume writing and workshops about financial aid. The event also included a Hot 107.5 DJ, presentations, contests and giveaways. Celebrity speakers, including Grammy Award-nominated singer Ledisi and Olympic silver medalist Lashinda Demus, spoke about determination and setting goals.
The main goal of the UNCF Empower Me Tour was to get future college students and parents more informed and prepared for college. Even the Marine Corps were there to provide many outlets for education funding.
Marine Corps Major Frank Moore said he partnered with the UNCF because of “what they stand for (and) opportunities for leaderships for all young people.”
Ledisi spoke about her new book, “Better than Alright: Finding Peace, Love & Power,” and handed each audience member a free copy to keep and read excerpts. Ledisi wrote the book with Essence Magazine and wanted it to be full of affirmations, saying she wants to “empower people’s lives.” Ledisi also talked about the five F’s in her book: freedom, faith, family, forgiveness and finance; she said if any of the five F’s were out of order, then your life was not in order.
When Ledisi’s presentations ended, she graced the audience with a sample of her singling talent.
Karen Brown is an intraluminal counsel for the UNCF who volunteers for the larger organizations. “I am proud to see the many young men from the DACEP (Detroit Area Pre-College Engineering Program) … here to further their education,” Brown said.
High school students from Henry Ford Academy in Detroit Makayla G., Asia T. and Tierria W. all said they thought the event was exciting, fun, and eye-opening. When asked what the best part about the event was, Tierria said, “the free applications to colleges.”
Makayla, Asia and Tierria attend the UNCF event every year, and they heard about the event from their parents. Deion B., a junior at Cass Tech, said, “The UNCF program helped me make up my mind where I want to go,” he said. “I want to go to Western.” Before the UNCF tour ended, there was a panel discussion with Ledisi, Chef DAS and Demus about their personal tips on becoming successful and the personal struggles and triumphs they experienced.