NATIONWIDE HOMECOMING CHALLENGE ENCOURAGES ALUMNI TO
GO BACK AND GIVE BACK TO ALMA MATER AS PART OF SURPRISE INITIATIVE
Spelman Alumna Dana Davenport and Morehouse Alumnus Chris Evans inspire and assist college students by way of the Homecoming Challenge. It’s a nationwide initiative with a mission to give back—during a surprise visit by
alumni—to deserving students. The challenge aims to encourage and reassure students they can press through and achieve goals, in spite of daily challenges.
Uncertainty, worry, and unpreparedness are just a few emotions thousands of young adults experience when setting foot on their college campus for the first time. Away from parents and comfort zones, they dive deep into the sea of
the unknown. Others are in the midst of financial strain, unsure from where their next meal is coming. Davenport and Evans created a plan to uplift students’ spirits during this great transition.
Participating is simple: grab envelopes, cash, business cards, and head to campus. Once you arrive at your old dorm room, give the student in your old bed a donation ($10 or $20 is suggested). If you can, provide a donation to the
roommate, as well. Share advice or encouragement with the student verbally or via a note. Post a picture or video on social media with the hashtag #HomecomingChallenge and tag @homecomingchallenge on Instagram, Twitter
and Facebook. To fully accept the challenge, sign up via the website, www.homecomingchallenge.com.
Though it’s named the Homecoming Challenge, participants are urged to take part at any time, whether a reunion, graduation, or move in day. Created for any alumni, this is the perfect opportunity to connect with an impressionable
student. Plus, aside from helping the student, it’s a morale boost, knowing that in the daily grind of career and life obligations, there is a way to give back and successfully make an impact.
“It’s important to help kids. Even if it’s just twenty dollars, it can add up and make a difference. Students have a tougher time making ends meet than we did. The refund checks just don’t stretch as far. It’s (the Homecoming
Challenge) a simple way to leave an amazing impact,” Davenport says.
The challenge is multipurposed. It’s a huge benefit to colleges and universities because as alumni are drawn in and becoming involved, they could be motivated to donate to various school causes. While orientation programs are
widespread, there are few programs that help students once engulfed in daily campus life. Some lack support systems, especially first-generation goers. Here’s an opportunity to create an organic relationship and establish mentor/mentee connections to aid in transition and retention.
During the initial launch in Fall 2017, Morehouse College and Spelman College were amongst the initial participants. With over 5,500 views of the Dana Being Dana Homecoming Show on Facebook alone, the challenge helped over 150
students nationwide and it has grown in the last three years. In 2019, the Homecoming Challenge embarked on its inaugural nationwide tour visiting Florida A&M University, Howard University. Morehouse College and Spelman College. The last stop of the tour was sponsored by Kroger.
Our goal is to increase impact with all public and private schools across the nation. For testimonials, sign up, and more details visit www.homecomingchallenge.com.