The Tom Joyner Foundation Game Ambassadors’ program is a new program at Clark Atlanta University highlighting Historically Black Colleges and Universities. “We want to share with the world the great spirit of our HBCUs,” Tom Joyner Foundation’s program director of college relations said.
The program is in its second year of operation and was started from an idea of a summer intern in 2017. “The goal of the game ambassadorprogram is to share the HBCU experience with the public during various football games, homecomings, and classic games,” Sonja Currie, said. TJF Ambassadors has been able to cover seven games so far, only having cancelled one, due to weather conditions.
CAU’s TJF Ambassador team includes Elisco Edgers, Emauri Watson, Josh McJunkins, Regine Stepherson, Tre Hazelwood and Trishunda Mooney. This team of mass media arts students fall under the direction of mass media arts department chair, professor Garry Yates and mass media arts professor Yolanda Thompson.
“I wanted the CAU team to experience how their learned skills are transferable into the professional world, and I also wanted the them to be a model of how collaboration among creative minds from various disciplines can be empowering,” Yates shared.
The students provide live coverage of the games through different social media outlets. “It gives our foundation the opportunity to engage a younger audience,” Currie said. TFJ has a weekly goal to cover two games every weekend throughout the football season. The program has received positive responses and “has been successful in sharing the unique HBCU experience,” she said.
“One of the duties that I had to carry out at the game was to simply be personable,” Regine Stepherson said. “By greeting people and just engaging in conversation with people, it made people more comfortable to speak with me and be interactive with the program.”
TJF Ambassador program is currently only covering sports but plans to expand the program into other areas. The program caters to those that could not physically be in the audience and enjoy the football game in the HBCU atmosphere. “It is the closest opportunity for HBCU alumni, students, and supporters to feel like they are in the stands with everyone else,” Currie said.
“My experience as a TJF Game Ambassador has been exciting thus far. It has allowed me the chance to collaborate with some of the best and brightest of CAU’s mass media arts students,” Elisco Edgers said. “I am also honored to represent and showcase the greatness that is Clark Atlanta University.”
For more information about the Tom Joyner Foundation Game Ambassador Program, scholarship, and other HBCU events, students are directed to visit www.tomjoynerfoundation.org for more information.