BOSSIP Exclusive: Laz Alonso And Terrence J Join Home Depot As They Make It Rain $1Milli In Grants To HBCUs
A milli! A milli! A milli!
BOSSIP was in the building this week to witness The Home Depot® ceremony to award $1 million in grants to support improvements on the campuses of 30 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) through its 2022 Retool Your School program. In its 13th year, the program is providing grants ranging from $20,000 to $75,000. Alabama State University, one of the top performers this season, earned the Campaign of the Year award for its innovative campaign, as well as second place in Cluster 1, winning a total of $95,000.
A hybrid Retool Your School Winners Ceremony was held on Tuesday, April 26 to celebrate the participating schools and the 2022 voting season. The event was hosted by actor and HBCU alumni, Laz Alonso. In addition, actor, entertainment reporter, model and HBCU alumnus, Terrence J participated in a fireside chat.
Howard grad, Laz Alonso spoke to BOSSIP about his near-decade working with Home Depot’s Retool Your School program.
“HBCU’s are never not needing resources,” Laz Alonso told BOSSIP Sr. Content Director Janeé Bolden. “Every year you have new students and a whole new set of challenges that parents have to now overcome to send their kids to this new school. They’re going to be away from home. The comforts of home may not be there. What Home Depot has done is provide those things that we might take for granted. There are so many things, from improving their quality of life, to improving parents’ peace of mind that this program does and that’s why I love being part of it.”
“This is so exciting for a number of reasons,” Terrence J told BOSSIP’s Janeé Bolden about the ceremony. ” Anytime I can leave the Oscars and do something with HBCU’s it feels incredible. I just celebrated my 40th birthday, giving back is my mission statement for the year, I want to make sure I dedicate as much time to inspiring and influencing and helping as many HBCU students as I possibly can, so this program is great for that aspect. And then working with a company like Home Depot is great, I go in there all the time. I’m always in a Home Depot, It’s a great program, I love it.”
“Since its launch in 2009, The Home Depot’s Retool Your School Campus Improvement Grant Program has provided support to almost 70 percent of the nation’s HBCUs through more than 180 grants,” said Derek Bottoms, chief diversity officer for The Home Depot. “Grants from The Home Depot have helped HBCUs make more than $5 million worth of improvements, including the creation of outdoor eco-classrooms, renovation of health facilities, revamping of residence halls, and more.”
Participating HBCUs were separated into three clusters based on student population. The top ten schools with the most votes per cluster will receive grants ranging from $20,000 to $75,000. Additionally, the Campaign of the Year award of $95,000 was presented to the school whose campaign proved to be most original, innovative, and particularly effective for galvanizing its community to drive votes for the program.
“Each year, The Home Depot Retool Your School program rallies our community together to celebrate their Tougaloo College pride to support campus improvements that make a difference in our student’s lives,” said Dr. Carmen J. Walters, President of Tougaloo College, 2021 winner of the Campaign of the Year award and Cluster 3. “The program’s impact is immeasurable.”
Congratulations to the 30 winning institutions of the 2022 Retool Your School program.
Campaign of the Year
- Alabama State University
- Alabama A&M University
- Alabama State University
- Jackson State University
- Southern University and A&M College
- Albany State University
- Grambling State University
- Winston-Salem State University
- Fayetteville State University
- Prairie View A&M University
- Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University
- Coahoma Community College
- Alcorn State University
- Tuskegee University
- Benedict College
- South Carolina State University
- Mississippi Valley State University
- University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff
- Elizabeth City State University
- West Virginia State University
- Hampton University
- Tougaloo College
- Texas College
- Fisk University
- Johnson C. Smith University
- Lane College
- Southwestern Christian College
- Wilberforce University
- Saint Augustine University
- Edward Waters University
- Rust College
Since 2009, through Retool Your School, The Home Depot has invested more than $5.25 million dollars to update, upgrade, and uplift HBCU campuses. The company is dedicated to continuing its commitment, celebrating the legacy and pride of HBCUs. To learn more, visit RetoolYourSchool.com.