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UNCF Mayor’s Masked Ball raising funds to support college dreams

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — There is a major fundraiser happening in Jacksonville to support the United Negro College Fund.

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The 3rd Annual UNCF Mayor’s Masked Ball will take place Friday, March 22 at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Jacksonville.

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Action News Jax spoke to two Edward Waters University about how earning a UNCF scholarship has enhanced their college experience and why they say your support is critical.

Johnny Jones is a Junior Business Accounting major from Pahokee, Florida.

Kimberly Holland is a Sophomore from Baltimore, Maryland majoring in Business Administration.

RELATED: Action News Jax’s Dawn Lopez to emcee Mayor’s Masked Ball to support UNCF, Edward Waters University

Holland’s path to the historically Black university included fulfilling a family legacy.

I’ve always wanted to go to an HBCU. I’m a fourth-generation HBCU scholar. My great-grandmother went to Bowie State in Maryland. My grandmother went to Coppin State in Baltimore. Both of my parents are Hampton University alums and I go to thee Edward Waters University,” said Holland.

A connection through Jones’ passion for football led him to EWU. Jones said, “It was this guy that I knew. My trainer, Emory Payne, I’ll never forget him and my coach right now, offensive coordinator, Brian Jenkins, he knew him. He like, he was a student for him when he was at Bethune [Cookman]. So he was like, just come in and try it out.”

RELATED: 3rd Annual Mayor’s Masked Ball to Support UNCF and Edward Waters University

Both students are thriving in the classroom and beyond. Jones is putting in work on the football field committed to his goal of going pro and utilizing his background in finance.

Holland, an aspiring civil rights attorney, is an active student leader who serves as Miss Sophomore and was recently elected Miss Junior.

Each day on the Edward Waters campus, they are taking steps toward their dreams. A collegiate journey made possible through the financial support of scholarships from the United Negro College Fund, or UNCF. Jones said they do not take it for granted. “It’s a blessing. Like I cherish it every day I wake up. I’m trying to be better. I’m trying to make it happen,” Jones said.

The UNCF’s mission is powered by donations. Holland said your giving is a direct investment in students that pays dividends. “I would say that bright students such as the football star Johnny and myself, benefit greatly from scholarship money that is donated. It is life-changing. So if you’re in a position to give, please do that. Do not hold back.”

If you would like to learn more about UNCF or make a donation click here.

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