Clark Atlanta University’s (CAU) motto for students and educators alike is “I’ll Find a Way or Make One.” One group of alumni is taking steps to demonstrate just that.
Patricia Smith and Marquetta Thompson formed the Making A Way Foundation with a mission raise to raise $300,000 for current students by imploring fellow alumni to donate $25 a month for 12 months.
“We wanted to create something that can directly help students at our alma mater,” said Patricia Smith, Co-CEO of Making A Way Foundation per a news release shared with ESSENCE. “We each remembered a moment when we needed a financial boost to complete a semester and we wanted to make it easier for the current students to find that support.”
The initiative will kick off during CAU’s upcoming Homecoming and aims to leverage the excitement of the school’s past and present community to help support alleviate the financial burden of tuition and rising living costs for young students living on campus. Innovative incentives to become involved include CAU merch giveaways, Panther Pride photo opps, and a chance to win a free trip to Homecoming 2024, the news release states.
“With HBCU enrollment on the rise and affirmative action repealed, we must be prepared to serve our students from the time they arrive on campus until the time they graduate,” said Smith in a statement. “Clark Atlanta has a rich legacy, so strengthening alumni involvement is key to sustaining that legacy during the challenging times we face now and may face in the future.”