UNCF Brings College-Focused Events to Rochester Nov. 2, 2015

Events Will Include UNCF Rochester Mayor’s Luncheon, Empower Me Tour for Student and Parent-Focused “Paying For College” Workshop 


Media Contact:
Ashlei Stevens
UNCF Communications


(ROCHESTER, NY) — With a college education more important—and more costly—than ever, UNCF, the country’s largest private provider of scholarships to minority students, will bring its campaign for higher education for all to Rochester on Monday, Nov. 2, with a lineup of events designed to help students go to and through college.   

“Education is the key that opens so many doors,” said Rochester Mayor Lovely A. Warren. “That’s why I’m proud to partner each year with Councilman Adam McFadden to bring the UNCF Empower Me Tour to Rochester. One of my goals as mayor is to provide more educational options for our children, and exposing them to the UNCF-member colleges and universities is a great step toward achieving that goal.”

The day will start at 9 a.m. at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center featuring UNCF’s Empower Me Tour, a free college- and career-readiness road show for high school juniors and seniors and Monroe Community College transfer students. The event, which runs until 2 p.m., features inspirational discussions and workshops on preparing and paying for college.  Representatives of 27 colleges will be on-site to offer information, and many will review students’ transcripts and resumes and offer on-site admissions to qualified applicants. Most of the participating colleges are historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), and 14 are UNCF-member HBCUs. 

“Our mission is not only to prepare students for success in college and careers, but also to help them take advantage of higher education opportunities,” said Rochester City School District Superintendent Bolgen Vargas, Ed.D. “The District is deeply grateful to UNCF for bringing its Empower Me Tour to Rochester and giving our young people and their parents the information and tools they need to prepare for college.” 

McFadden, who has served on the Rochester City Council for the past 12 years, is a proud alumnus of UNCF-member institution Claflin University. “This is about remembering what helped me become the leader I am in Rochester today, and also knowing that there will be young people who will have a similar experience because of the opportunity we’re providing for them through the Empower Me Tour,” he said. “I think the value that HBCUs provide is really knowing how to meet students of color where they’re at and placing them in a supportive and structured environment that only helps them succeed, not fail.”

The day’s second event, UNCF’s Rochester Mayor’s Luncheon, starts at 12:05 p.m. at the Radisson Hotel, featuring Mayor Warren, Superintendent Vargas and Councilman McFadden. The luncheon emcee, TWC News reporter Jamiese Price, is also a graduate of a UNCF-member institution, Tuskegee University. The luncheon’s keynote address will be delivered by Dr. Roslyn Clark Artis, president of Florida Memorial University, also a UNCF-member institution. Proceeds from the luncheon will help all of UNCF’s member HBCUs keep academic programs strong and tuition affordable, and fund last-dollar scholarships.  Luncheon sponsors include lead sponsors City of Rochester and the Mayor’s Office; pillar sponsors C&S Companies and Rochester Building & Construction Trades Council; and table host sponsors JP Morgan Chase and Home Leasing. 

A parent-focused “Paying for College” Workshop at East High School from 6 to 8:30 p.m. will complete the day’s college-oriented events. Although tuition at UNCF colleges is a third less than at comparable institutions, most parents welcome all the help and guidance they can get about scholarships, college loans and college savings accounts.  

Registration for the UNCF Empower Me Tour and “Paying for College” Workshop is available at empowermetour.org or by calling the Office of Parent Engagement: 585.324.9999.  National UNCF Empower Me Tour sponsors include Wells Fargo, Procter & Gamble, Darden Foundation, the U.S. Marine Corps and FedEx. 

“UNCF has years of experience helping young people receive the college education they need, and that we as a nation need them to have,” said David F.A. Walker, UNCF New York regional development director, “and these three events are designed to put that knowledge and experience to work for Rochester students, families and employers. At UNCF, we say that ‘A mind is a terrible thing to waste, but a wonderful thing to invest in.’® UNCF is grateful to all the people, organizations and agencies who have invested their time and treasure in making this day of events a success. The education that Rochester students will receive and the careers they’ll launch are the return on that investment. They are our dividends.” 


About UNCF
UNCF (the 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, supports and 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 21 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 over 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 UNCF.org or for continuous updates and news, follow UNCF on Twitter at @UNCF.