Tom Joyner Foundation® Helps SC State Raise Scholarship Funds

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


(Dallas, TX – May 13, 2008) The Tom Joyner Foundation helped South Carolina State University raise more than $221,000 since March, and provided scholarships to thirteen outstanding students.

Tom Joyner, the nationally syndicated media personality who’s ‘Tom Joyner Morning Show’, is aired in more than 115 markets reaching nearly eight million listeners every week, created the Foundation in 1998 to help keep students enrolled in Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs). South Carolina State and its students are benefiting from the more than $55 million the Foundation has raised.

During the month, the South Carolina State Business Cluster Event, featured Tom Joyner Morning Show talent Myra J, and raised $90,000. The following companies were represented: Scana Energy, Southern Wine and Spirits, Duke Energy, Monsanto, Pfizer, Lockheed Martin, JM Smith, Nationwide and Courtesy Management. Myra J. was the guest speaker during the business cluster luncheon.

Additionally, the following alumni chapters participated in the “chapter challenge”: Spartanburg Chapter Washington D.C. Chapter National Alumni Association for South Carolina State University.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for SC State University,” said Dr. Leonard A. McIntyre, the university’s interim president. “Being selected and recognized as a Tom Joyner School of the Month has afforded SC State University an opportunity to share with Tom Joyner’s radio listeners some of the great things happening at SC State University, as well as, share our rich history and tradition on a national level. Together SC State University and the Tom Joyner Foundation have turned challenges into opportunities for deserving SC State Students by providing financial assistance. The most important investment that we can make is in our future. Our students today are our leaders for tomorrow. I want to thank our alumni, faculty and staff, corporate partners and the Tom Joyner Foundation for investing in the students of SC State University. I encourage you to continue to invest in securing the future of SC State University and continuing its legacy.”

Five South Carolina State University students are winners of the Tom Joyner Foundation® and Denny’s Single Parent Scholarship, designed to financially help single parents enrolled in black colleges. The women and two men were awarded scholarships in April as part of a joint venture between Denny’s and the Foundation that will provide $1,500 grants every week in 2008 to single parents attending HBCUs.

The March Single Parent Student Scholars were:

Dana Pickering, a junior nursing student from Orangeburg, SC, is mother of a four-year old daughter, Brianna. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., the Student Nurses Association, and the NAACP. After graduation, she plans to pursue a career as a registered nurse.

Priscilla Singleton, a senior psychology student from Conway, SC, is mother of a one-year old daughter, Faith. She is a volunteer at the First Step Learning Daycare Center and the award winning gospel choir, United Voices of Christ. After graduation, she plans to obtain her master’s degree in guidance counseling.

Keyonna Porter, a senior nursing student from North Charleston, SC, is mother of a five-year old son, Steven, Jr. Keyonna is from North Charleston, South Carolina. She is a member of the Honors Society and the Student Nursing Association. After graduation, Keyonna plans to obtain her master’s degree and pursue a career as a nurse practitioner.

Cara Dowling, a senior English Education/Spanish student from Florence, SC, is mother of a 2-year old daughter, Mackenzie. She is a member of the Honors Society and a tutor at Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School. After graduation, Cara plans to become a high school English and Spanish teacher.

Victoria Dawson, a senior Biology Education student from Orangeburg, SC is a full-time student and mother of 8-year old twins, Rasheed and Rashay. She is a member of the Honors Society and mentors students at Felton
Laboratory School. After graduation, Victoria plans pursue her master’s degree and become a high school science teacher.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the number of single-parent families has steadily increased during the past five years. In 2006, there were more than 2,900,000 single-parent, African American families in the United States. In 2004, the National Center for Education Statistics found that 30% of all students currently enrolled in a degree-granting institution were minorities, a 16% increase in the last 30 years.

The single parent scholarship is awarded each week to a single parent attending the Tom Joyner Foundation’s “School of the Month.” This joint partnership is a reflection of Denny’s and the Tom Joyner Foundation’s
shared belief that a commitment to higher education is the key to a better workforce and improved conditions for all communities. Denny’s is America’s largest full-service family restaurant chain that is best known for its famous Grand Slam® breakfasts.

Four other South Carolina State students were named Hercules Scholars, each receiving a $2,500 scholarship. The Hercules Scholarship program is named after Joyner’s father, the late Hercules Joyner, who was a strong supporter of higher education. The March winners were:

Da Shan Axson, a Brooklyn, NY English and physical education major;
Leonard Roberts, an Atlanta psychology major ;
Markell Black, of Orangeburg, SC, who is studying to be a criminal justice professional; and
Sitha Lam, also of Atlanta, an English major.

Tom Joyner, a graduate of Tuskegee Institute, said that the scholarships are greatly needed. On average, the black male student enrollment at an HBCU is about 37 percent. To be a candidate for the scholarship, students must attend a Foundation “School of the Month”, have a grade point average of at least 3.0, and be a campus leader involved in the community with a career goal toward making a difference in the quality of life for his race. For information about the scholarship program, students should contact their school administrators.

About the Tom Joyner Foundation: Founded in 1998, the Tom Joyner Foundation has focused on its primary
mission of helping to keep students enrolled in Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs). The Foundation has raised more than $55 million to help keep students enrolled in black colleges and has assisted more than 14,000 students and worked with more than 100 HBCUs. Throughout the week, the Foundation announces scholarship winners on the nationally syndicated radio show hosted by its founder, Tom Joyner. Each week, separate financial awards are focused on students who are single parents, high achievers, and “Brothers on the Move”, black male students at the ‘School of the Month’. The organization’s largest annual fundraiser is its “Fantastic Voyage”™, which is a seven-day, six-night cruise that raises more than $1 million a year.