FAIRFAX, VA - UNCF-the United Negro College Fund- and the Jack and Jill of America Foundation, Inc. are uniting to make sure that seniors at UNCF member colleges graduate on time. Jack and Jill like UNCF advocates for education across the nation and their mission is developing today's children into tomorrow's leaders. Jack and Jill Foundation is encouraging its supporters, friends and family to support UNCF by watching the January broadcast of UNCF An Evening of Stars Tribute to Chaka Khan and donating to the UNCF Campaign for Emergency Student Aid (CESA) to help raise $30,000 to support recession-impacted graduating seniors who need to pay off balances for tuition, books and room and board before they can receive their diplomas.
The Jack and Jill Foundation wants everyone who cares and understands the importance of education and the doors it can open to participate in the Text To Donate component of the Campaign for Emergency Student Aid featured in this year's UNCF An Evening of Stars show. From January 4th through February 28th, supporters of Jack and Jill Foundation will be able to text "JJF" to make a $10 donation to UNCF. UNCF An Evening of Stars Tribute to Chaka Khan will air nationally on more than 40 network stations in major markets on Saturday, January 29th, and on Sunday, January 30th on BET Networks at 10 p.m. and WGN America (Check local listings). The tribute to Chaka Khan marks the 32nd anniversary of UNCF's two-hour entertainment television special.
"Jack and Jill Foundation is committed to ensuring that every child gets a good education from pre-school thru college and we are excited that they are expanding their partnership with UNCF to help students graduate from college," said Michael L. Lomax, Ph.D., UNCF president and CEO. "Many students at UNCF schools are still being impacted by the recession and they are finding themselves in financially vulnerable positions. It's inspiring for us to work together with our community to ensure that all children get the college degrees they need and our nation needs them to have."
The Jack and Jill Foundation is also contributing a portion of the money raised to their existing scholarship which is administered through UNCF. This scholarship was launched in 2004 and is available to high school seniors who plan to attend college. Scholarship awards range from $1500-$2500.
As the recession lingers, many students at UNCF schools are at risk of having to drop out of college. Unemployment and pay cuts still reduce families' financial support for their children's education. The credit crunch still keeps private student loans off the market. And students still come up short of the funds they need to cover tuition and room and board balances.
"Jack and Jill Foundation is proud to support UNCF and to invest in the next generation of leaders who will become doctors, lawyers, teachers and business professionals," said Erik Cliette, President of Jack and Jill of America Foundation, Inc. "These seniors are close to getting their diplomas and we want them to achieve this goal which will enable them to compete in a global economy."
With more than 40 years in music behind her, Grammy-winning R&B/soul singer Chaka Khan will be surrounded on the UNCF An Evening of Stars® stage by the greatest talent in entertainment and education, as she is presented with the UNCF Award of Excellence. The award cites her long entertainment career and support for UNCF and minority education.
This year's program will feature award-winning singers and performers Stevie Wonder, Fantasia, Angie Stone, Melanie Fiona, Ledisi, El DeBarge, Estelle, Faith Evans, Ginuwine, Bettye LaVette and Herbie Hancock. The parade of celebrities joining Dr. Lomax in celebrating Khan also includes Academy Award winner Mo'Nique, Akon, LeVar Burton, Kim Coles, Taraji P. Henson, Quincy Jones, Tom Joyner, CNN's Soledad O'Brien, Boris Kodjoe and Nicole Ari Parker, Amber Riley, Bobb'e J. Thompson, Tracie Thoms, Access Hollywood's Shaun Robinson, Lauren Vélez, and a special taped appearance by Mary J. Blige. The celebrities will not only entertain but will make special appeals for all Americans to text to donate to help seniors graduate from college.
All Jack and Jill members, friends and family are encouraged to text "JJF" to 50555 on their cell phones to donate $10 to help these students walk the last mile to their education. Individuals can text up to $30 per cell-phone monthly billing cycle. Supporters may also donate to the Campaign for Emergency Student Aid online.
About UNCF An Evening of Stars
UNCF An Evening of Stars, formerly the Lou Rawls Parade of Stars, first aired in 1979, and since that time has become one of the longest running and most successful televised events in U.S. history. Over its 32-year history, UNCF An Evening of Stars has raised more than $200 million that has helped hundreds of thousands of students attend college and graduate. In recent years, UNCF An Evening Of Stars® has featured a Who's Who of remarkable talent, including Stevie Wonder, John Legend, Chaka Khan, Ne-Yo, Nancy Wilson, Beyoncé, Anita Baker, Jill Scott, Whoopi Goldberg, Fantasia, Joss Stone, Jennifer Hudson, Michael Bolton, Natalie Cole, Herbie Hancock, Al Jarreau, Hall and Oates, Ziggy Marley, Maroon 5, and scores of others. UNCF An Evening of Stars received NAACP Image Awards for its 2006 tribute to Stevie Wonder and its 2008 tribute to Smokey Robinson
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 more than 60,000 students at over 900 colleges and universities across the country. UNCF supports education through scholarships and other programs, by supporting its 39 member colleges and universities, and by advocating for the importance of minority education. 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. The UNCF logo features the torch of leadership in education and its widely recognized motto, "A mind is a terrible thing to waste.