DENNY’S TO SERVE AS PRESENTING SPONSOR OF THE 2019 NCNW HUNGRY FOR EDUCATION HBCU TOUR

Denny’s to award $200,000 in scholarships to high school and college students throughout the United States

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).

Courtesy Photo

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.”

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