Comerica Bank Partners with National College Resources Foundation for Detroit Empowerment Weekend

Three-day free virtual series May 20-22 features STEAM Expo, Latino College Expo™ and Black College Expo™ for students and families across southeast Michigan

May 17, 2021 3:00 PM EDT

DETROIT, May 17, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Comerica Bank and the National College Resources Foundation (NCRF), have partnered to bring Detroit Empowerment Weekend to the Midwest May 20-22. The three-day virtual series, free of charge, presents opportunities for high school students to have their college application fees waived – as well as chances to earn acceptance and receive scholarships to colleges on the spot.

Informative seminars and workshops for K-12 students and their families will also be available.

"Coming together with the National College Resources Foundation is a natural fit for Comerica Bank's continued commitment to helping young people and the communities they live in, especially in response to many challenges that have resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic." said Linda Nosegbe, Comerica Bank Southeast Michigan Market Manager. "Ensuring we provide the next generation of leaders opportunities to better themselves and further their education is critical, and this virtual Empowerment Weekend is a step in the right direction to make that happen."

The virtual Detroit Empowerment Weekend consists of:

  • STEAM Expo (Thursday, May 20, 2:30-4:30 p.m.)
    • Features hands-on 3D-printing, coding, esports, programming activities and more for K-12 students and families.
    • From 2:30-4:30 p.m., students can get an inside look at the history of Black aviators in flight, featuring The Tuskegee Airmen and presenter Chauncey Spencer, Jr. – son of Chauncey Spencer, Sr. Spencer, Sr. was a legendary Black aviator responsible for integration of the U.S. Air Force when he and Dale White convinced President Harry S. Truman to allow Black individuals to fly in the military in World War II – resulting in the formation of the Tuskegee Airmen, which later became known as the Red Tails. Games are also available for students to strengthen their math and life skills.
  • Empowerment Series (Thursday, May 20, 5-8 p.m.)
    • Comerica Bank executives and other professionals will be in attendance to share knowledge, wisdom and insights into entrepreneurship, growing your money and internship/employment opportunities.
  • Latino College Expo (Friday, May 21, 4-6 p.m.)
    • Some colleges will be accepting students on the spot. In addition, students can receive information about college funding and planning, DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and financial aid and scholarships from Dr. Gloria Ponce-Rodriguez, a national leader and advocate in college and career planning. Notably, Dr. Ponce-Rodriguez is a NCRF Executive Board member and Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) committee member. Seminars include "Funding Your College Education and DACA" along with "Preparing for College During and Post-COVID-19."
  • Black College Expo (Saturday, May 22, 12-3 p.m.)
    • During this expo, colleges will waive application fees, as well as offer scholarships and accepts students on the spot. Seminars include "How to Find Money for College", "How to navigate College During and Post-COVID-19", "Why attend an HBCU" and "The 411 for the Student Athlete."

The virtual Empowerment Weekend is free to attend, and students throughout the Midwest are welcome to join. Those interested in attending can register here.

NCRF was founded in 1999 – and one year later, the nonprofit hosted its inaugural Black College Expo™, an event that highlights Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU's) and other postsecondary institutions to provide admissions and scholarship information to attendees. NCRF's mission is to curtail the high school dropout rate and increase degree and/or certificate enrollment among underserved, underrepresented, at-risk, low resource, homeless and foster students.

"We are excited to partner with Comerica Bank," said Dr. Theresa Price, founder and executive director of NCRF. "It so refreshing to work with corporations that share the same values and beliefs as NCRF – which is all about creating positive change for our communities. COVID-19 has hit our community hard, furthering the gap in educational achievement, workforce, and economic disparities. We know that events like the Detroit Empowerment Weekend bring hope to our community."

NCRF connects students to positive post-secondary pursuits – providing resources and services to help students prepare for, enroll in and graduate from a degree and/or certificate program. It continues to work toward its vision to close the gap in educational achievement, workforce, and economic disparities with the goal to end racism and racial inequality – and, to date, NCRF has:

  • Hosted more than 160 college expos nationwide, including 23 virtual events since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Helped more than 500,000 students get into college.
  • Secured more than $1 billion in scholarships and grants for students.
  • Yielded a 100% graduation rate among Black students (93% for all students) in the Movement Enrichment Program.
  • Secured a 95% success rate of its scholarship winners finishing college.

Comerica Bank's partnership with NCRF is the latest in a storied history of alliances with Black and minority-owned businesses and nonprofits nationwide, to provide financial education, small business support, COVID-19 relief and more. Most recently, Comerica Bank has:

  • Moved $10 million in deposits to Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs) across the country, including $2.5 million in Michigan.
  • Provided $1 million to the National Business League for financial resources and technical support.
  • Launched a collaboration with the Detroit Association of Black Organizations (DABO) and Mackenzie Noble Community Collaborative Drug Free Coalition (MNCC-DFC) to deliver Comerica's signature Money $ense Program.
  • Partnered with the Southwest Detroit Business Association (SDBA) to host a Business $ense Boot Camp for immigrant and Latinx-owned businesses.
  • Committed $150,000 to Invest Detroit's Loan Relief Fund for small businesses.
  • Committed $5 billion nationwide over the next three years to support small business lending and growth.

"Comerica Bank looks forward to building upon this incredible partnership with the National College Resources Foundation and helping students achieve their goal of attending college after high school," Nosegbe added.

About Comerica BankComerica Bank is a subsidiary of Comerica Incorporated (NYSE: CMA), a financial services company headquartered in Dallas, Texas, and strategically aligned by three business segments: The Commercial Bank, The Retail Bank, and Wealth Management. Comerica focuses on relationships, and helping people and businesses be successful. In addition to Texas, Comerica Bank locations can be found in Arizona, California, Florida and Michigan, with select businesses operating in several other states, as well as in Canada and Mexico. Comerica reported total assets of $86.3 billion as of March 31, 2020.

About National College Resources FoundationNational College Resources Foundation is a 501c3 nonprofit educational enhancement organization. Our mission is to curtail the high school dropout rate and increase degree and/or certificate enrollment among underserved, underrepresented, at risk, low resource, homeless and foster students. Our vision is to close the gap in educational achievement, workforce and economic disparities with the goal to end racism and racial inequality.


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