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‘More of This Should Be Done’: Stephen A. Smith Talks About His Role As HBCU Week Ambassador, Scholarships for Students

Stephen A. Smith recently dropped by New York radio station Hot 97, where he talked about being the ambassador of HBCU Week, which began Sept. 15 and ends Sept. 21. It’ll also take place at various locations throughout Wilmington, Delaware.

Smith said HBCU Week began three years ago, and it was started by Earl Cooper and Ashley Christopher, who work in the office of Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki. Smith learned about the week when he was being honored in Delaware a few months ago.

The ESPN host also explained it was an idea he immediately took to because he went to Winston-Salem State University in North Carolina, an HBCU, and grew up in the inner-city community of Hollis in Queens, New York.

“So they started something [called] HBCU Week, where you have a fair, colleges getting involved, and they were looking for someone to really, really bring attention to it and pump it up,” he explained.

“When they brought it to my attention, I realized, OK, there’s an opportunity to bring attention to HBCUs, it’s an opportunity to help folks from disenfranchised communities. … We’re also going to have a college fair.”

Smith then said the fair will be held on Sept. 20, where his ESPN show “First Take” will broadcast live. And there will be over 25 HBCUs in attendance as well.

Plus, any high school student who shows up to the fair with their grades and SAT or ACT scores in hand could get a scholarship from an HBCU right on the spot and be enrolled. There will also be a battle of the bands held during the week.

“This is unequivocally awesome @stephenasmith,” someone wrote Wednesday on Twitter about Smith’s involvement. “I truly hope that there are students that take advantage of this opportunity! More of this should be done within the communities to encourage students to attend college!”

“Congratulations, Stephen A, for being the Ambassador for HBC,” wrote someone else. “Great to see, that you are using your platform, to educate young people and to promote HBC.

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