Terrence J: Representing for Past, Present, and Future Generations of Black Excellence


While at the 25th Essence Festival, The Divah Filez had the opportunity to speak with actor and entertainment icon, “Terrance J” Jenkins. Some of his previous appearances in the media include hosting BET’s 106 and Park and being an actor in Think Like A Man. Over the years Terrance has grown his platform significantly as he is now a national ambassador for the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and has a strong partnership with McDonald’s Dark and Positively Golden.

Terrance J is a proud product of his alma mater, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. North Carolina A&T is a Historically Black University in Greensboro, North Carolina and is nationally ranked in the top 10 for being one of the best Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to US News.com. Though he is an alum, Terrance still makes it a must to attend HBCU homecomings and keep them relevant. He is truly an influential product of his illustrious institution, as earlier this year, he was announced as the Thurgood Marshall College Fund National Ambassador. He spoke very proudly of being a national ambassador for the non-profit organization.

His recent efforts are enough evidence to believe him when he says that will use his platform to represent Black institutions, Black excellence, and Black history. He credits his HBCU experience and TMCF for molding him into the man he has grown to be today.

The Thurgood Marshall College Fund was established in 1987 and is currently the nation’s largest organization that specifically represents HBCUs. TMCF member-schools include the publicly-supported Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Predominantly Black Institutions (PBIs). You can read more about TMCF, as well as apply for their scholarships at https://www.tmcf.org. The Thurgood Marshall College Fund has donated over “$300 million in such assistance to its students and member-schools. TMCF distributes 98% of its awards exclusively to HBCUs and PBIs, which is more than any other organization that supports the Black College Community.” By eliminating the worry of financial issues, students are able to focus solely on their education and give their all to become successful. Terrance J expressed that he is very thankful to be a former recipient of one of TMCF’s scholarships and is even more grateful to be able to represent the non-profit organization nationally.

“1 in 3 college freshmen drop out by the end of

their first year of school due to lack of funding.”

97% OF TMCF SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS GRADUATE FROM COLLEGE

McDonald’s, alongside Terrence J, awarded two HBCU students two $10,000 Black & Positively Golden Scholarships– in partnership with Thurgood Marshall College Fund. “McDonald’s Black & Positively Golden is an ongoing movement designed to uplift African American communities and inspire excellence through empowerment, entrepreneurship, and education, by focusing on stories of truth, power, and pride.” For more information, please visit www.blackandpositivelygolden.com. You can also catch a recap of the Black & Positively Golden event at the 25th Essence Festival @WeAreGolden and #blackandpositivelygolden on Instagram. Terrance spoke highly of his partnership with McDonald’s. He supports the positive impact the company is making by highlighting the Black community and looks forward to the great things TMCF and McDonald’s will accomplish together.

Terrence is continuously striving to use his platform to support Black youth and bring many things to light in any way he can. When asked what advice he could offer to new voters in regards to the upcoming 2020 Presidential Election, he explained how important it is to do research and be involved. There are a lot of important factors to consider when voting, but voting is still something that needs to be done. Terrance added that Black young adults see things from different perspectives which should be even more of a reason to pay attention and be aware of what the candidates have on their agendas. There is so much to be changed in the Black community, but there is still so much that the Black community can do to help itself. He stressed how important it is to never forget where you came from and to give back in every way possible. The Thurgood Marshall College Fund and their partnership with McDonald’s are just two of the many positive resources Terrance supports. He is very passionate about helping those who were once in his very shoes and will continue to use his platform to do so.

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