Chevrolet and the National Newspaper Publishers Association hosted a ceremony celebrating the fourth year of the award-winning Discover the Unexpected program.
The annual program has awarded nearly a half-million dollars in scholarships and stipends since its inception in 2016. It began with a select number of schools and, based on the overwhelming response, the submission process was opened to all students in their sophomore through senior years at Historically Black Colleges and Universities with an interest in journalism, communications, mass media or visual arts.
The 2019 DTU Journalism Fellows were Tedarius Abrams (Bethune-Cookman), Tyla Barnes (Hampton University), Elae Hill (North Carolina A&T), Miana Massey (Howard University), Emani Nichols (Morehouse College) and Sharon Joy Washington (Florida A&M).
The eight-week fellowship kicked off in Atlanta and culminated in Detroit at General Motors Global Headquarters. During the closing ceremony, the fellows received their $10,000 scholarships and certificates of completion. Lifestyle influencer and 2019 DTU Advisor Fonzworth Bentley (a graduate of Morehouse College), 2019 DTU Ambassador DJ Envy (“The Breakfast Club” and a graduate of Hampton University), Chevrolet leaders and NNPA President and CEO Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr. spoke, as did the fellows.
City.Life.Style.chopped it up with Fonzworth Bently on what it means to be a DTU advisor:
City.Life.Style: What is your role as a DTU advisor?
Fonzworth Bentley: My role is to essentially be a mentor to incredible young people who are either HBCU grads or current HBCU students as they are navigating their collegiate journey. We’re going from city to city discovering the unexpected and reporting on that in every city that they go to moving around in the brand New Chevy Blazer.
It’s great to able to provide them this experience in a different way by allowing them to be able to come behind the scenes and see what happened on the other side of production. And as a journalist, you know a lot of times you don’t get that behind the scenes access. It’s a really interesting and exclusive look into my world and ultimately the world that many of them would see themselves working in.
I saw how this partnership come about with Chevrolet.
Number one, the first car ever owned was an American made car and my wife currently drives a GM vehicle. So when it comes to any type of brand alignment it’s got to be something that authentic for me, so that was very important. And then number two I thought it was very important that it was an opportunity to allow some students to guide and answer all of the questions that they’re going through their heads, because being an HBCU graduate, they know I understand their experience wholeheartedly. Along with my experience as a journalist and working at Access Hollywood for a year and a half, it was a fit. They were able to ask me some questions and I gave them real answers.
This year’s fellows’ stories were featured on the NNPA website (www.nnpa.org/chevydtu) throughout the program. Learn more about the Discover the Unexpected Journalism Fellowship at www.nnpa.org/chevydtu.