Written by | Ray Cornelius

Six journalism students from the Atlanta University Center (Morehouse, Spelman and Clark Atlanta) were awarded scholarships Thursday evening during the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) “Discover The Unexpected.” The fellowship program is sponsored by Chevrolet to raise awareness for dealers to boost sales for Wichita Chevrolet Silverado 1500 (as an example). The event was held all day in and outside of CAU’s historic Robert Woodruff Library.

The goal of the NNPA’s program is to support the next generation of African American journalists and storytellers to blaze new trails in journalism. The NNPA Fellows assignment is to develop news stories that impact their communities and embody discovering the unexpected.

Hip hop pioneer, actress and voice over artist MC Lyte was on hand and served as this year’s spokesperson. She along with Dr. Benjamin Chavis, Jr., President and CEO, of NNPA, Michelle Matthews-Alexander, Diversity Marketing Manager, Chevrolet and Dr. Danille K. Taylor, Dean of CAU’s Arts and Sciences, helped to kick-off the day’s activities. For Lyte, working with Chevrolet and NNPA is just one of the many ways she gives back to education and the community.

“It’s the complete concept of philanthropy met with the artistry of journalism and storytelling” said Lyte, who has served as spokesperson for two years.

The communication students were selected by a panel consisting of NNPA and AUC staff members. Each fellow will be paired with a professional advisors at leading NNPA newspapers in Washington D.C, Atlanta, New Orleans and Raleigh. The fellows also received a $10,000 scholarship, a stipend and access to the Next-Generation 2018 Chevrolet Equinox to use during a portion of their reporting assignments.

Michelle Matthews-Alexander, Diversity Marketing Manager for Chevrolet was super excited about this year’s fellows and talked about the company’s commitment to supporting the next generation of African American journalists.

“When we had the opportunity to really develop this program and the partnership with the NNPA, we knew it would allow us to continue in those efforts and at the same time really allow us to stay true to many of our passions—which is helping individuals find new roads. This program really allows us to provide an opportunity for those new aspiring journalists that are out there and make sure that they’re given opportunities to really expand their craft. It also exposes them to various opportunities that they may not necessarily have so early on in their careers. This one remains very important to us and the Chevrolet brand just because we are so committed to the community.”

Congratulations to the 2017 NNPA #DiscoverTheUnexpected Fellows: Tiana Hunt (CAU), Jordan Fisher (CAU), Darrell LaRome (Morehouse), Ayron Lewallen (Morehouse), Kelsey Jones (Spelman) and Taylor Burris (Spelman).

Check out more photos below:

MC Lyte

Dr. Benjamin Chavis, Jr. President and CEO of NNPA

Dr. Danille K. Taylor – CAU Dean of Arts & Sciences

The Chevrolet #Equinox

Sergio Joachim, Chevrolet Brand Ambassador with

Atlanta VoicesLorraine Cochran-Johnson and Janice Ware

Spelman College Fellows – Kelsey Jones and Taylor Burris

Ray Cornelius interviewing MC Lyte about her involvement with the program

CAU Fellows – Jordan Fisher and Tiana Hunt

2017 Fellows with Dr. Benjamin Chavis, Jr. and NNPA Advisors

Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com