Superstars Ledisi and Fonzworth Bentley Host UNCF's Empower Me Tour Presented by Wells Fargo in Washington D.C.

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Inspiring Youth to Excel in Academic, Financial and Personal Responsibility; Targeting High School and College Students and Parents

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Celebrating its 6th anniversary, the UNCF Empower Me Tour was created in partnership with Wells Fargo to prepare students to go to and through college and inspire them to take control of their future by using education as foundation for achieving goals.

The UNCF Empower Me Tour (EMT) Presented by Wells Fargo – a free, traveling college-and career-readiness road show sponsored by UNCF (the United Negro College Fund), the country’s largest and most effective minority education organization – will feature R&B superstar Ledisi and musician, author and lifestyle entertainer Fonzworth Bentley, as hosts for the Tour’s stop at Washington D.C.’s Paul Laurence Dunbar High School on Tuesday, October 1, 2013.

Celebrating its sixth anniversary, the UNCF Empower Me Tour was created in partnership with Wells Fargo to prepare students to go to and through college and inspire them to take control of their future by using education as the foundation for achieving their goals and dreams.

"I'm excited to participate in the UNCF Empower Me Tour and to help celebrate its sixth anniversary,” Ledisi said. “Every year, it’s amazing to meet students and to share my experiences with them and help to motivate them to use education to build the kind of future they want and we all want for them. No one does more than UNCF to help students go to and through college so they can start families and launch careers. I am thrilled to be able to play my part in the great work they do.”

“I am the fourth generation in my family to graduate from one of the 37 UNCF member institutions,” Bentley said. “Therefore, this is a very special honor for me to represent the values and goals of an organization that has given so much to not only the success of my family, but for thousands of families throughout this country and the world.”

For the DC Tour stop, educators and entrepreneurs will share their personal educational journeys with participating high school and college students. Attendees will also engage with college recruiters and learn about scholarship and internship opportunities. Through support of DC Public Schools, this Tour stop will be held at the newly-renovated Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, historically noted as the nation’s first public high school for black students.

“Wells Fargo is excited to team up again with UNCF and to bring the UNCF Empower Me Tour back to our nation’s capital,” said Mike Golden, Wells Fargo’s Regional President for Greater Washington, D.C. “We know that education is the greater equalizer in our country, and it is one of our passions to ensure that students have access to higher education. This tour makes the possibility of college real to young people across the nation, by providing them and their parents with information, tools and resources that help them make informed decisions about their future.”

“We are excited to bring UNCF’s Empower Me Tour Presented by Wells Fargo to Washington D.C. The Tour provides essential tools for our area’s youth and supporting families to succeed in their academic pursuits, and transition into adulthood,” stated Paulette Jackson, UNCF’s Vice President of Development. “In addition to solid academic training, it is essential that students are trained as financially-responsible citizens. EMT workshops and hands-on seminars offer opportunities for participants to invest in themselves and their futures. We look forward to a continued partnership with Wells Fargo, our national corporate partners and local supporting sponsors in bringing our students to and through their collegiate journey, and beyond.”

The Empower Me Tour will also provide students and their parents with college and career workshops and engaging panel discussions with special guests and celebrities. This year’s speakers and workshop leaders have included music executive Amir Windom; TV personality, style authority, and entrepreneur Tai Beauchamp; and motivational speaker Dr. Alex O. Ellis. Prior Tour guests and panelists included actors Hill Harper and Tatyana Ali, journalist and social activist Jeff Johnson, and Dr. Randal Pinkett, winner of the fourth season of NBC's The Apprentice with Donald Trump.

The UNCF Empower Me Tour Presented by Wells Fargo has visited St. Louis, New Orleans, Dallas, and the San Francisco Bay Area along its 2013 Tour, with upcoming stops planned for Los Angeles (October 19), Las Vegas (October 20), Detroit (November 16), Atlanta (January 25, 2014), Memphis (February 15, 2014) and Charlotte (March 1, 2014).

In addition to Presenting Sponsor Wells Fargo, Supporting Sponsors of the UNCF Empower Me Tour include: Procter & Gamble, FedEx, US Army, US Marine Corps, and American Airlines. Education Partners: Education Is Freedom, US Department of Education Federal Student Aid, Gates Millennium Scholars Program, City Year, Inc. and Teach For America.

For more information on the tour and to register for free, visit

About UNCF
UNCF (United Negro College Fund) is the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization. To serve youth, the community and the nation, UNCF supports students’ education and development through scholarships and other programs, strengthens its 37 member colleges and universities, and advocates for the importance of minority education and college readiness. UNCF institutions and other historically black colleges and universities are highly effective, awarding 20 percent of African American baccalaureate degrees. UNCF administers more than 400 programs, including scholarship, internship and fellowship, mentoring, summer enrichment, and curriculum and faculty development programs. Today, UNCF supports more than 60,000 students at over 900 colleges and universities across the country. Its logo features the UNCF torch of leadership in education and its widely recognized motto, "A mind is a terrible thing to waste."® Learn more at

About Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo & Company is a nationwide, diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.4 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 9,000 stores, 12,000 ATMs, and the Internet (, and has offices in more than 35 countries to support the bank’s customers who conduct business in the global economy. With more than 270,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 25 on Fortune’s 2013 rankings of America’s largest corporations. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy all our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially. Wells Fargo perspectives are also available at


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