Accepted to 25 prestigious universities and awarded nearly one million dollars in scholarship money, Frederick Uy chose to attend Claflin University in Orangeburg, South Carolina for one reason.
"It was the tone of the conversation," Uy said. "I had visited several university orientations and the content was all the same, but Claflin's office admission aid was really passionate."
Uy knew immediately that Claflin would be the right place to help him succeed. The university is one of 11 United Methodist-related historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) supported by the United Methodist Black College Fund (BCF). The BCF is administered by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM).
Uy said he immediately felt at home at Claflin, an environment fueled by a small student-to-faculty ratio (13:1) and "Claflin Confidence."
That "Claflin Confidence," the school's mantra, is designed to equip students with poise to become "visionary leaders." It is upheld by supportive and relatable mentors, career-oriented programs and unique network opportunities, ripe for the academic, social, cultural and spiritual growth Uy yearned for.
The atmosphere at the school reminded Uy of the kind of help and support he and his family received from the United Methodist Church when they first moved to the United States. Uy was born in Quezon, Philippines and moved to Tacoma, Washington when he was 15 years old.
"The United Methodist church is the one who welcomed me with opened doors and opened arms when I was new in Washington. They were the ones who helped me adapt to the culture, so I was very excited to give back and serve as a Black College Fund ambassador," he said.
Uy's personal goal is to use his education to return to the Philippines and make a difference there.
"That city [Quezon] has a lot corruption…A lot of people are oppressing minorities just because they don't have the knowledge or the resources to fight back, or they don't know their rights. I want to change this, so that motivated me to become a financial lawyer," he said.
Claflin is providing direct development opportunities to help Uy sharpen his financial skills. The university's School of Business encourages undergraduates to participate in its Annual Entrepreneurship Business Plan Competition, a "Shark Tank" style pitch competition where aspiring entrepreneurs compete to receive investments in their ideas.
Opportunities like the business plan competition are why the Black College Fund is so important to Uy. He's seen firsthand all the vital student experiences it helps to support.
Uy says it is a privilege to serve as a Black College Fund intern, because it provides an opportunity for him to give back to the United Methodist Church and his community.
excerpt from a story by Jessica Love, writer and editor, General Board of Higher Education and Ministry
One of seven apportioned giving opportunities of The United Methodist Church, the Black College Fund provides financial support to maintain solid, challenging academic programs; strong faculties; and well-equipped facilities at 11 United Methodist-related historically black colleges and universities. Please encourage your leaders and congregations to support the Black College Fund apportionment at 100 percent.