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UNCF Empower Me Tour Comes to B-CU on Feb. 7

The UNCF Empower Me Tour (EMT) presented by Wells Fargo – a free, traveling college- and career-readiness road show sponsored by UNCF (United Negro College Fund), the country’s largest and most effective minority education organization – will feature television entertainers Joyful Drake and Fonzworth Bentley as hosts for the Tour’s Daytona Beach stop at Bethune-Cookman University on Saturday, Feb. 7.

Celebrating its seventh year, the UNCF Empower Me Tour was created in partnership with Wells Fargo to prepare students to go to and through college and inspire them to take control of their future by using education as the foundation for achieving their goals and dreams.

The Daytona stop will feature Joyful Drake of BET’s highly-rated comedy series Let’s Stay Together as hostess. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Joyful recently founded The Dream Big Foundation, dedicated to rewarding young women who are determined to accomplish their dreams. She issued a challenge to five students from South Atlanta High School to write an essay about their dreams and the path to achieving those dreams. The winner with the most compelling story was rewarded with a glamorous prom makeover produced by Joyful and the BET Dream Team.

“I am beyond excited to participate in the UNCF Empower Me Tour. One of my proudest accomplishments is attending college on an academic scholarship, so whenever I get the opportunity to give back and talk about the importance of education, I do so,” Drake said. “Living in this ever changing world where competition is thick, it is important for young people to be equipped with the proper tools, so they can pursue their dreams and live a life of excellence. Nothing comes easy, but the proper education can propel one forward and become the blueprint for an amazing life. Knowledge is power!”

The Empower Me Tour will also feature Fonzworth Bentley, host of BET’s “Lift Every Voice” program, and graduate of Morehouse College, as a Tour co-host.

“I am the fourth generation in my family to graduate from one of the 37 UNCF member institutions,” Bentley said. “Therefore, this is a very special honor for me to represent the values and goals of an organization that has given so much to not only the success of my family, but for thousands of families throughout this country and the world.”

For the Daytona stop, educators and entrepreneurs will share their personal educational journeys with participating high school and college students. Attendees will participate in the Empower Me Tour Zone, an interactive experience for students, parents and educators. The Zone provides an opportunity to engage with college recruiters and to learn about scholarship opportunities. The Empower Me Tour will also provide students and their parents with a full day of exhibits, college and career workshops, and engaging panel discussions with special guests and celebrities.

 “We are thrilled to bring UNCF’s Empower Me Tour Presented by Wells Fargo to Daytona Beach,” stated Sherry

Paramore, UNCF Area Development Director. “The Tour provides essential tools for our area’s youth and supporting families to succeed in their academic pursuits, and transition into adulthood. In addition to solid academic training, it is essential that students are trained as financially-responsible citizens. Our EMT workshops and hands-on seminars offer opportunities for participants to invest in themselves and their futures. We look forward to a continued partnership with Wells Fargo and supporting sponsors in bringing our students to and through their collegiate journey, and beyond.”

“Wells Fargo is excited to team up again with UNCF and to bring the UNCF Empower Me Tour to Daytona Beach,” said Kelly Smith, North Florida Regional President of Wells Fargo. “We know that education is the great equalizer in our country, and it is one of our passions to ensure that students have access to higher education. This tour makes the possibility of college real to young people across the nation, by providing them and their parents with information, tools and resources that help them make informed decisions about their future. In addition, we’re working to help students prepare for the job market once they graduate, and are connecting them with Wells Fargo recruiters, and providing training for the interview process.”

For more information on the Empower Me Tour and to register for FREE, visit



Bethune-Cookman University was founded in 1904 and serves the community via three campuses in Daytona Beach, Deltona and Hastings. For more information, visit


Institutional Advancement

Beverly James
Director of Communications
PH: 386-481-2991
FX: 386-481-2973

About Bethune Cookman University:

Founded in 1904 by Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) today sustains her legacy of faith, scholarship and service through its relationship with the United Methodist Church and its commitment to academic excellence and civic engagement.  B-CU offers 38 degrees on its main campus and online college. Located in Daytona Beach, B-CU is one of three private, historically black colleges in the state of Florida. The institution boasts a diverse and international faculty and student body of nearly 4,000.  For more information, visit

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