Young Alumni Giving continues to help FAMU students

Photo submitted by De'Bria Payne

Florida A&M University’s Young Alumni Giving (YAG), will be having its 12th annual scholarship brunch on Oct. 5. The brunch will be held from noon to 3 p.m. in the Grand Ballroom.

The money donated to YAG is given to current FAMU students who apply for the scholarships. The recipients will be awarded at the brunch. The tickets for the brunch are $50 and the attire is black excellence. 

“We are not competing with the National Alumni Association, but we work towards the same mission and goals,” said Ferrisa Connell, co-chair of YAG.

Through YAG, alumni can hand-select the student recipients and be involved in the process. 

This year there will be a passport scholarship being offered and internship opportunities for the first time.

“Ultimately, we just wanted to assist students who have the desire to go abroad with passports in order to increase experiential international travel amongst men and women of color and to ensure that they are equipped with global accessibility whenever an opportunity arises,” said Jarveal Baker, founder of Passports Tatted. 

Renowned alumni like Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum and filmmaker Will Packer and alumni from various industries have participated with YAG.  

“We want to take it up a notch, we do not just have academic scholarships, but we celebrate single moms, and we have scholarships for the everyday student and every walk of life,” Connell said. “I’m super excited to help fundraise and get alumni involved.”

Ricquel Jackson has served as chair for the YAG brunch for the past five years. With her position she serves as the event point of contact, recruits all the scholarships, handles marketing, event logistics, and makes sure the alumni of FAMU have an outlet to give directly back to students. 

“As chair I connect young alumni with the university to directly give students scholarships. The unique thing about YAG is that we allow alumni to create a financial opportunity for students as they see fit. A lot of the times alumni pick scholarships that reflect their own backgrounds, struggles, or accomplishments in school. As chair, I connect the dots between the alumni, students and the monies,” Jackson said. 

“I got involved with Young Alumni Giving back in college because I was intrigued, by the alumni that were giving back to students who we still in school. I was recruited to FAMU based on a scholarship, so it was very important to me to give back in that way,” Jackson added. “I enjoy creating a platform for young alumni to give back to students directly in a unique way. What is really special about YAG is that we’re the only young alumni retention-based scholarship housed in the FAMU Foundation, which is our official charitable giving institution at the university. All of our giving channels directly to the foundation. We don’t touch any cash. We are a direct reflection of the university so I’m really proud to have that accomplishment for us.”

Student entrepreneurs are welcome to showcase their businesses at the brunch by contacting If you are interested in sponsoring a scholarship for a student, email