FedEx Supports UNCF and HBCU Students

May 6, 2024 1:25 PM ET

Our unwavering commitment to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) began more than 20 years ago. It is a long-standing relationship that we are proud of as it continues to evolve over the years.

FedEx is proud to offer direct support to the United Negro College Fund (UNCF). Each year the organization holds the UNCF Empower Me Tour (EMT) – a free, in-person or virtual event- established to inspire and motivate high school students, college students, and recent graduates toward academic excellence, career success, and personal responsibility. The fourth and final stop on the EMT is the national conference held in conjunction with the National Alumni Council (NAC) for HBCU graduates. This year’s conference was held February 23-25 in Jacksonville, FL, and focused on career readiness for HBCU students.

Through FedEx support of the EMT program, the UNCF was able to provide four high school students with $2,500 in scholarships at the stop in Chicago. Five college students received $2,500 in scholarships during the national conference in Jacksonville. Among the nine scholarship recipients were Diamond Knox (Lane College), DeAndrew Thomas (Dillard University), and Bernyla Sparks (Voorhees University).

Diamond Knox is a graduating senior at Lane College in Jackson, TN majoring in Business Management. She attributes her attendance at an HBCU to her older cousin who adopted her at a young age.

“This scholarship is important to me because it relieves the stress of worrying about money. With this help we can focus on our schoolwork,” said Diamond. When asked what she plans to do with the scholarship she stated, “Since I’m graduating soon, my next step is Culinary School. This scholarship will help me with my application fees and some of my tuition.”

DeAndrew Thomas is currently attending Dillard University in New Orleans, LA where he is a junior majoring in English. “Last year one of my friends got the FedEx Scholarship at this conference, and I remember cheering her on and saying to myself that I hope I could get it next year,” said DeAndrew. “Here it is a year later, and I got it!” He later reflected on the untimely passing of his mother due to Covid and having the responsibility to look out for his sister, which made it difficult to find funding for his education. “I really just want to say thank you so much to FedEx, and I’m very grateful for this opportunity.”

Bernyla Sparks is a junior majoring in Computer Science at Voorhees University in Denmark, SC. “I couldn’t believe it! I was coming to tears because I couldn’t believe it! I felt like it was a blessing from God because sometimes when you feel at your lowest, somebody’s always watching and understands your struggle,” said Bernyla.

In addition to granting scholarships, FedEx also invested time into the conference FedEx Corporation Staff Vice President Donald Comer provided remarks during the Project Stay Ceremony, which is a session that focuses on charging graduating seniors to stay active and involved with their schools as upcoming HBCU alumni. During his remarks Donald stated, “At FedEx, we are intentional about stirring up good trouble, creating possibilities for you to advance toward and sustain meaningful careers and economic opportunity.”

FedEx also gained twelve HBCU students to our talent network during the career fair led by Enterprise Recruitment lead Justin Patterson and FedEx Freight recruiter Shannon Theokas.