Bridging the Gap: alumni invests’ in FAMU students

On October 5 at noon in the Grand Ballroom, Florida A&M University’s Young Alumni Giving (YAG) continued its 12-year tradition of hosting a networking brunch that provides the opportunity to give back through scholarships and grants to current undergraduate and graduate students.

The $50 ticketed event awarded over $9,500 to deserving students who were hand selected upon application. One of the scholarship recipients was Economics major Mathania Germain.  Germain served as one of the seven awarded students at the brunch.

“It inspired me to want to give back. It planted the seed of giving,” stated Germain.

Donors of scholarships create their desired scholarship. In addition to selecting the requirements and the amount, they also pick recipients who connect with and engage alumni to have a direct hand in the success of those awarded.

Scholarships awarded included the Essence of a Haitian Woman Scholarship Foundation, April L. Simmons STEM Scholarship for Girls, The Golden Chance Foundation Scholarship and Passports Tatted Global Access Grant, the latter of which served as the first grant awarded for the organization.

This annual brunch also invites former students and community leaders to serve as keynote speakers. This year was no different.  Some notable Florida A&M alumni were in attendance such as founder of Abeille Creations Melissa A. Mitchell, Florida politician Alan B. Williams and honorary Rattler Attorney Angela Rye.

Students receive scholarships at the 12th Annual Young Alumni Giving Scholarship Brunch in the Grand Ballroom  
Precious Tankard | The Famuan

FAMU alumnus and Pro-Chair of the YAG Ferrissa Connell was proud to be a part of the celebration. Connell was excited and looking forward to the new programs and initiatives projected to flourish in 2019.

“A lot of alumni want to give more, so we are literally answering that call and we are going to take YAG to another level,” Connell explained. “There are ways that you can give back to your university that are specialized to the need; our scholarships weren’t just your traditional scholarships.”

YAG’s Scholarship Brunch was a networking celebration, housing not only speakers but music, vendors, brunch and bottomless mimosas.

HBCU Culture Shop a clothing apparel line supporting Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Graphic design major and “Fix My Sole” founder Elijah Rutland was given the platform to share and promote the company’s product to all attendees.

The 50 plus attendees included FAMU’s 12th President, Dr. Larry Robinson and FAMU alumna and Mayor of Atlanta Keisha Bottoms.

FAMU alum A’sia Horne was present at the event and shared her excitement about paying it forward.

“It feels great to be apart”, Horne said. “I feel it’s important that we assist the incoming Rattlers to achieve graduating from this wonderful university.”

Since being established in 2006, YAG successfully carried out yet another year of the company’s motto “Giving Back, Reaching Forward.” The goal of the organization has always been to provide networking experience while giving back to students during homecoming.

From here the only way to go is bigger and better as YAG pushes its efforts even more to provide internships, mentoring and recruitment in the upcoming years of student investment.