Yesterday, TheYBF.com was front and center at the White House for the “Champions of Change” event to honor those working diligently to promote college completion and success at historically black colleges and universities. “E! News” co-host Terrence J and actress Keshia Knight Pulliam were tapped to speak on the HBCU alumni panel. Find out their reasons for attending college inside and see a pics from inside the White House….
The White House held a special event yesterday to honor faculty, staff members and alumni from historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). The “Champions of Change” affair recognized HBCU leaders who work to build pathways to graduation at their respective institutions. And TheYBF.com was invited as a special guest to take part in the distinguished occasion.
About 150 people filled the Eisenhower Executive Office Building’s South Court Auditorium to recognize the “Champions of Change” who are doing extraordinary things to empower and inspire members of their communities. Each #HBCUChamp was nominated by their university’s president to attend the distinguished program. And we learned a few interesting things about a couple YBF celeb college graduates.
The event featured three panel discussions, one of which was moderated by “E! News” co-host/HBCU alum Terrence J. Terrence is a graduate of North Carolina A&T University. He was tapped to lead the HBCU Alumni Panel and Spelman College graduate/former child star Keshia Knight Pulliam joined him. The HBCU Alumni Panel also included Kamillah Wood, Albert Sanders, Stephanie Young and Samantha Master.
Other notable attendees included Senior Advisor to the President Valerie Jarrett (atop) who issued the welcome remarks, and U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx, who gave the keynote remarks.
During the discussion, TJ and Keshia opened up about why they chose to further their education, attending historically black institutions. Upon graduating high school, Terrence revealed he had no interest in attending college. So what got him through the doors? Girls, of course. He said once he learned there would be cute girls on campus, he made the decision to go. But once he arrived, it was about even more.
Terrence revealed he didn’t do well his first semester, but that didn’t deter his success. He eventually became a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., became the class president, and graduated with a 3.6 GPA.
Former “Cosby” star Keshia Knight Pulliam also spoke about why she decided to attend a university, despite already having fame and financial success. She revealed how growing up, she felt most people made the choice to go to college in hopes of eventually landing their dream job/career, which in turn would make them make money. Despite her huge success as a child actor, she said not going to college was never an option. While filming the “Cosby Show” as a child, she said she was inspired to further her educational career. And it’s likely Bill Cosby played a role in her decision, as he’s an advocate for young people getting a college education.
During the panel, the participants also discussed topics such as alumni donating money back to their HBCUs, diversity and inclusion at HBCUs, first-generation college students and how extra-curricular activities helped their experiences.
After the program, TJ and a few others were able to tour parts of the White House and meet senior level staff. The tv personality nabbed a flick with the First Family’s newest dog Sunny. Cute!
Keshia got the chance to chop it up with a student, who happened to be a big fan. She stopped to snap a pic with him holding up a Hillman College (“A Different World”) sweatshirt. And yes, we want one too!
VP Joe Biden’s Chief of Staff Steve Ricchetti caught up with the group inside the Vice President’s Ceremonial Office.
TJ’s Fraternity brothers Fred Whit and Uche Byrd were there to represent, throwing up “the hooks” while in the Ceremonial Office. Of course.
And the tv host took a moment to reflect while looking at the Washington Monument. Fab times and a fab cause!
Photos: TheYBF.com’s Jamishia Smith/Uche Byrd/@iamterrencej