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HBCU Heros - Supporting Historically Black College and University Athletics

HBCU Student-Athletes Computer Drive

HBCU Heroes was founded by George Lynch, former NBA player & entrepreneur Tracey Pennywell. Friends since college at UNC-Chapel Hill, when Lynch became head men’s basketball coach at Clark Atlanta University, they realized the vast disparities between athletic programs at PWI’s VS. HBCUs.

Budget cuts, lack of scholarships, inadequate equipment & subpar facilities plague most HBCU athletic programs. Thus, they’re unable to remain competitive with their PWI counterparts.

Our mission is to raise the bar with HBCU sports programs by providing them vital resources to succeed and become competitive on all levels.

The Devastating Impact of the Coronavirus on HBCUs:

Since COVID-19 struck, schools & universities nationwide have been forced to shut down, many without vital time needed to activate comprehensive online learning plans.

         

IMPACT

  • There are 107 HBCUs. Only 30 (1⁄3) offer 1 or more online bachelor’s degree programs.
  • Two-thirds (2⁄3) are NOT set up for distance-learning programs.
  • Many students come from single-parent or low-income homes who rely on financial aid & other resources to attend college. Finances are minimal.
  • Not only are HBCUs forced to provide online classes they aren’t set up for, many students don’t own laptops or have home WiFI which creates a further crisis.

Put in perspective, the virus has forced over 40 million K-12 students home, forced into distance learning. Because many of these students also don’t have computers, cities like NYC are handing out over 300K computers to lessen the digital divide.Will this be for a semester? The fall? No one knows. We can’t let this educational gap widen.

Who will assist HBCU student-athletes with this same epidemic?

         

THE NEED

Across the 107 HBCUs, combined enrollments are estimated at 300K attendees. Almost 5% (15K) of those are student-athletes. According to coaches we’ve surveyed at various HBCUs, 40% of them don’t have laptops or have outdated laptops that aren’t sufficient to perform effectively for distance learning requirements.

Our plan is to serve these students who are vulnerable to education gaps because they don’t have laptops to continue the required studies at home for the rest of this semester and even summer school.

THE GOAL

6000 laptops are urgently needed for HBCU student-athletes to complete their distance-learning classes at home while America fights the Corona-virus.

TARGET SCHOOLS

Through a website submission process, HBCU Heroes will identify and select HBCUs based on need, ability to serve, and maximized impact. These will include men’s & women’s teams, such as football, basketball, baseball, cheerleading, band and more. Outreach to target schools will include (but not limited to):

Grambling University                                      NC A & T State University
Xavier University                                            Clark Atlanta University
Fort Valley State University                            Morehouse College
Central Ohio State University                         Bowie State University
Tennessee State University                            Florida Agricultural & Tech. Univ
Howard University                                          Lincoln University
Southern University                                       Texas Southern University
Alcorn University                                            Hampton University

HOW CAN WE HELP

HBCU Heroes is asking sponsors, philanthropists, alumni & pro/former athletes to join forces with us in this effort to provide 6000 laptops to HBCU student-athletes to assist them in achieving their distance-learning academic goals. $1000 = 1 laptop

EXPECTED RESULTS

Our computer drive will assist HBCU student-athletes so they don’t fall behind because of barriers to distance-learning due to a lack of computers. Something has to be done. We’re committed to elevated academic performances, optimal student-athlete engagement which will keep them up to par until they can return to campus, and access that provides much needed support throughout this worldwide pandemic.

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With HBCU Heroes, our goal is to level the playing field for HBCU sports programs. There’s a huge disparity between seemingly unlimited funding, sponsors, and alumni support that drive Division I schools versus the limited resources that plague historically black colleges and universities’ athletic programs. After experiencing both, I’m hoping to bring some much needed balance.

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