Tom Joyner Foundation and Toyota Financial Services Donate $60,000 to Support HBCUs

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Tom Joyner Foundation and Toyota Financial Services Donate $60,000 to Support HBCUs

Five Historically Black Colleges and Universities and The Tom Joyner Foundation to Each Receive $10,000 from Toyota Financial Services in Honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

$60,000 contribution will help further boost college retention and graduation rates, seen as key to ensuring the fulfillment of Dr. King’s dream for America.

(DALLAS, January 13, 2017) In honor of the life and vision of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Toyota Financial Services (TFS) is continuing its support of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and their communities, by providing $60,000 to five HBCUs as well as the Tom Joyner Foundation.

“For the third year, we’re so glad to partner with Toyota Financial Services in supporting the vision of HBCUs,” said Thomas Joyner, Jr., President and CEO of the Foundation.  “These scholarships are an important investment in these schools, and are critical in helping students pursue their dreams.”

The following universities will each receive $10,000:

  1. Paul Quinn College in Dallas, Texas
  2. Benedict College in Columbia, S.C.
  3. Mississippi Valley State University in Itta Bena, Miss.
  4. Winston-Salem State University in Winston-Salem, N.C.
  5. Jarvis Christian College in Hawkins, Texas

TFS is donating an additional $10,000 to support the Tom Joyner Foundation, as well.  The foundation provides academic support, scholarships, and programming to over 80 HBCUs in the Southern and Eastern United States.  The overall goal of these contributions is to support educational opportunities within many of the communities in which TFS operates.

“Education should be accessible to all – but many talented young minds are unable to complete their college education and realize their full potential because of the lack of financial aid,” said Mike Groff, TFS president and CEO.  “In keeping with TFS’ deeply held commitment to diversity and inclusion, we are honored to support the mission of HBCUs and help these students reach their academic and professional aspirations.”

The college graduation rate for African-American students in the U.S. stands at 42%, as opposed to 62% for their white counterparts, according to the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education Financial support of universities is key in black student retention, thereby producing high graduation rates.

“Dr. King’s dream included the belief that young people should be given an opportunity to receive the best education possible,” said John Ridgeway, TFS Corporate Manager of TFS’ Customer Service Center in Maryland.  “As a Toyota executive and an HBCU alumnus, I am proud to see Toyota Financial Services supporting these fine institutions and advocating higher education within our communities.”

Al Smith, TFS Group Vice President, Service Operations and Corporate Planning, added, “Financial support has become an area of critical need for a growing number of HBCUs. Providing this support not only keeps students on track, but contributes to the sustainment of these HBCUs and helps them address the issues that impact student retention.”

TFS has been named a DiversityInc Top 50 company for the past nine years in a row, and has been consistently recognized by Black Enterprise, Hispanic Business, and the Human Rights Campaign as a Best Company for Diversity and one of the Best Places to Work. TFS has provided millions of dollars in scholarships to deserving students across the nation, its executives actively support and sponsor the company’s many diversity and inclusion initiatives, and its associates have devoted their time and talents to many meaningful national- and community-based programs.

For more information, contact Neil Foote, media relations, Tom Joyner Foundation(, 214.448.3765) or Justin Leach, public relations manager, Toyota Financial Services (, 310.468.5332).

About The Tom Joyner Foundation
The Tom Joyner Foundation ( was founded in 1998 as the brainchild of nationally syndicated radio personality Tom Joyner. The mission of the Foundation is to support historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) with scholarships, endowments and capacity-building enhancements. The Foundation has provided necessary support to every HBCU in its 18-year history to help sustain and preserve the legacies of these valuable institutions. Through fundraising and donor development initiatives, $65 million has been raised to support more than 29,000 students attending HBCUs. Additionally, the Foundation has recommended internships, offered matching grant support, and career development to deserving students.


About Toyota Financial Services

Toyota Financial Services (TFS) is the finance and insurance brand for Toyota in the United States, offering retail auto financing and leasing through Toyota Motor Credit Corporation (TMCC) and Toyota Lease Trust. TFS also offers extended service contracts through Toyota Motor Insurance Services (TMIS). The company services Lexus dealers and customers using the Lexus Financial Services brand. TFS currently employs approximately 3,100 associates nationwide, and has assets totaling nearly $116 billion. It is part of a worldwide network of comprehensive financial services offered by Toyota Financial Services Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Toyota Motor Corporation. We announce material financial information using the investor relations section of our website ( and SEC filings. We use these channels, press releases, and social media to communicate about our company, our services, and other issues. While not all information we post on social media is of a material nature, some information could be material. Therefore, we encourage those interested in our company to review our posts on Twitter at Points of Light has named TFS one of its Civic 50, which recognizes the most community-minded companies in the nation. For more information about the company’s support of financial literacy, youth development programs, and other community initiatives, please visit

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Florida A&M, Tennessee State Partner with Tom Joyner’s to Offer Online Degrees

FAMU and Tennessee State join Texas Southern University to become part of Joyner’s education services company that launched nine-months ago. HBCUsOnline also is offering a wide range of professional certificates.

Florida A & M University and Tennessee State University are partnering with Tom Joyner’s HBCUsOnline as part of a new national initiative to enroll students in undergraduate and graduate online degree programs at Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

FAMU and Tennessee State join Texas Southern University to become part of Joyner’s education services company that has been well-received by tens of thousands of potential students since it launched nine-months ago.  In addition to offering new degree choices, HBCUsOnline is offering a wide range of professional certificates, from basic business skills to advanced certifications for information technology (IT) professionals.

HBCUsOnline is a marketing, enrollment services and online student support vehicle to help students apply to black colleges and achieve career success after graduation. Joyner is creating the most comprehensive educational services company for black colleges in the world. Since last September, more than 150,000 adult student prospects visited

“Adding FAMU and Tennessee State as part of HBCUsOnline is very exciting because we are now partnering with three of the largest HBCUs in the nation,” said Tom Joyner, host of the nationally syndicated Tom Joyner Morning Show and founder of the company. “I want to make sure that African Americans know that getting an online degree from an HBCU is a better choice. Students take classes from experienced professors and graduates become part of the schools’ proud legacy of alumni!”

Enrollment for the fall courses is now open.  Students can go to to learn more about popular degree programs and easily apply.  HBCUsOnline provides program specialists to facilitate the entire application and enrollment process as well as provide online-focused student support from registration through graduation. Upon completion of all the required coursework, a student will receive a degree from the participating universities – an accredited, credible, high quality and nationally recognized black college or university.

Tennessee State, founded in 1912, has more than 8,800 students, and for 12 consecutive years has been ranked one of the nation’s best colleges by U.S. News and World Reports. The Nashville, TN-based school is offering several options, including two undergraduate degrees and a masters degree program that are specifically designed to help working adults complete their degrees.  The Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies (BSID) is specifically designed for students who have already earned some prior college credit. It is flexible enough to help them complete remaining coursework and earn a degree. The Bachelor of Science in Professional Studies (BSPS) has a concentration in Organizational Leadership or Information Technology. The Master of Professional Studies (MPS) allows students to select a concentration in one of three areas: Human Resources Leadership, Training and Development or Strategic Leadership.

“Tennessee State University has a diverse student population and offers quality programs to suit the academic and professional needs of its constituency,” said President Portia Shields. “Among this population are adult learners who are able to earn degrees online, at night, and on weekends. Through this partnership, we are able to extend the University’s reach and expose the merits of this great Institution to a broader audience.”

FAMU, the nation’s largest HBCU, enrolling 13,274 students, was ranked by the National Academies as the No. 1 institution of origin for African Americans who go on to earn their Ph.D. degrees in the natural science and engineering. FAMU’s College of Law in Orlando is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as one of the nation’s most diverse law schools. FAMU is noted for its programs in business, architecture, journalism and the heath profession including pharmacy where it is the nation’s leading producer of African American pharmacists. FAMU is now offering three online graduate-level programs in high-demand job areas: an Executive Masters in Business Administration degree, a Masters in Public Health and a Masters of Science in Nursing.

“We are looking forward to enrolling students from across the country, and around the globe in our online programs so that we can prepare them to pursue their career goals and give them the opportunity to be a part of this great Rattler tradition,” said President James H. Ammons. “FAMU has the programs, faculty and researchers to help students prepare to compete and win in the new economy. We are pleased to partner with HBCUsOnline to bring our programs to the finger tips of a broader audience.”

Texas Southern’s online degree programs include a general Executive MBA, an Executive MBA with an emphasis in Energy Finance, and an Executive Masters in Public Administration. Texas Southern is an 85-year-old institution best known for its Thurgood Marshall School of Law, Jesse H. Jones School of Business, its Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs, and its College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, which has produced 27 percent of all African-American pharmacists in the country.

In addition to HBCUsOnline, Joyner also continues to operate the 12-year-old Tom Joyner Foundation, which has raised more than $60 million to help student remain enrolled in HBCUs.

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Tom Joyner Foundation® Honors Black Male Scholars

Scholarship Aimed At Encouraging Students to Complete Their College Degrees at Black Colleges

(Dallas – April 20, 2011)  The Tom Joyner Foundation has awarded a dozen scholarships to students at several black colleges in the country as part of its on-going effort to assist these students to complete their degrees.

Since January, the Foundation has recognized students from Talladega College in Talladega, AL, Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, NC and Tougaloo College in Tougaloo, MS.  The scholarships are awarded each week to students attending the Tom Joyner Foundation’s “School of the Month” program, which raises money from alumni, friends and other supporters from around the country.  The winners are announced on the Tom Joyner Morning Show, which is heard every morning in more than 100 markets around the country, reaching more than eight million listeners.

The Hercules Scholarship is named after Joyner’s father, the late Hercules Joyner, who was a strong supporter of higher education. To be a candidate for the scholarship, students must be male, attend a Foundation “School of the Month”, have a grade point average of at least 3.0, and be a campus leader involved in the community with a career goal toward making a difference in the quality of life for his race. The scholars each receive a scholarship grant of $1,500 that is paid directly to their school to help offset their college expenses.

Tom Joyner, a graduate of Tuskegee Institute, said that the scholarships are greatly needed.  On average, the percentage of black male students enrolled at HBCUs is about 37 percent. Joyner wants to help increase that percentage significantly.

In January, the four Talladega students were:

Evan Reddick, a junior biology student from Gadsden, AL. Mr. Bridges is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity, serves as the junior class president and is a member of the Student Government Association. After graduation, he plans to become pharmaceutical sales representative. His life’s philosophy is guided by a Frederick Douglass quote: “It is better to be part of a great whole than to be the whole of a small part.”

Emmanuel Pina, a junior biology major from Queens, NY. Mr. Pina is a member of the college’s basketball team, the student government association and is a tutor at a local community center and a peer tutor in biology.  After graduation, he plans to pursue a career as a physical therapist.  His life’s philosophy is guided by a Malcolm X quote: “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.”

James Escortt, a junior public administration major from Chicago, IL.  Mr. Escortt is a member of the Talladega College Choir, the Public Administration Society and serves as president of the Student Government Association.  During his summers, he volunteers at a center for the elderly and mentors young people at a Chicago church.  His life’s motto is: “I ain’t gonna let nobody turn me around.”

Christopher Mosley is an Anniston, AL senior majoring in mathematics with a minor in business management. He is a member of the Society of Black Engineers, Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity and serves as a Talladega College Ambassador.  After graduation, he plans to become a chemical engineer.

In February, the Johnson C. Smith University Hercules Scholars are:

Anthony Cureton, a sophomore computer science major with a minor in biology, from Warren, MI.  Mr. Cureton is a member of the Men’s Cross Country Track Team, served as the tumbling coordinate of the cheerleading squad and is a student ambassador. After graduation, the Honor student plans to become a reconstructive plastic surgeon. He also volunteers with Focus Hope, a tutoring and mentoring program. His daily message is “Say Strong.”

Charles Hauser, a sophomore visual and performing arts/graphics design major, is from Winston Salem, NC.

He volunteers at the International House of Charlotte, works as a production assistant for the Johnson C. Smith broadcast station and is a volunteer for the campus’ theater troupe. After graduation, he plans to get a Master’s Degree in Fine Arts. He lives by the motto, “An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.”

Howard Estell, a senior social work major, is from Niagara Falls, NY. He mentors other adult students at Johnson C. Smith University, volunteers with the local American Red Cross, works with the Sickle Cell Network and coaches his three daughters’ T-ball teams. After graduation, he plans to work as a social worker and educate people about sickle cell anemia.  His life’s philosophy: “Live life victoriously.”

Levi Williams, a Wilson, NC freshman majoring in sports management, plans to become a sports agent, representing professional athletes.  He serves as “Mr. Freshman”, is active with the Pre-Alumni Council, is a peer tutor and plans to study in West Africa this summer.  He lives by the motto, “Anything I see, I can be.”

In March, the Tougaloo College Hercules Scholars are:

Jervarius Prescott, a senior majoring in political science, is from Cleveland, MS. Mr. Prescott mentors at a local elementary school, is vice president of the Pre-Law Society, a member of Phi Alpha Delta Pre-Law Fraternity and is a member of Alpha Mu Gamma Honor Society.  He’s also active in the student chapter of the NAACP.  After graduation, he plans to become an attorney.  He believes in Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me”.

Jamal Perkins, a sophomore mathematics major with a minor in business, is from Greenwood, MS.  He is involved with The Jackson Heart Study program and is member of the tennis team, the Pre-Alumni Council, the student chapter of the NAACP and Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society.  He plans to become an attorney.

Aaron Light is a Detroit native who is junior majoring in political science.  He is a peer tutor, a member of the Tougaloo Pre-Law Society and has interned with the Mississippi State Legislature.  After graduation, he plans to become an attorney and political leader. He lives by the philosophy, “Leave the world a better place than you found it.”

Windell C. Blount, a junior majoring in political science, is form Madison, MS.  Mr. Blount is involved in numerous activities on campus, including the Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society.  The future lawyer says he was greatly inspired by the election of President Barack Obama. He lives by the motto, “The Grass is Me,” which is a line from a poem he wrote in Eighth Grade.

In addition to these there ‘Schools of the Month’ , the remaining schools are: Miles College, Fairfield, AL (April), Tennessee State University, Nashville, TN (May), Wiley College, Marshall, TX (June), Benedict College, Columbia, SC (July),  Xavier University, New Orleans, LA (August), Mississippi Valley State University, Itta Bena, MS (September), Central State University, Wilberforce, OH (October) and Oakwood University, Huntsville, AL ( November).

About the Tom Joyner Foundation:

Founded in 1998, the Tom Joyner Foundation has focused on its primary mission of helping to keep students enrolled in Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs). The Foundation has assisted more than 14,000 students and worked with more than 100 HBCUs, raising more than $60 million.  Throughout the week, the Foundation announces scholarship winners on the nationally syndicated radio show hosted by its founder, Tom Joyner. Each week, separate financial awards are focused on students who are single parents, high achievers, and distinguished male students at the ‘School of the Month’. The organization’s largest annual fundraiser is its “Fantastic Voyage”™, which is a seven-day, six-night cruise that raises more than $1 million a year.