Students from Spelman College showed up and showed out at the annual Honda Campus All-Star Challenge National Championship Tournament in California. According to HBCU Buzz, students from the school won the competition and took a $75,000 institutional grant back to Atlanta.
During the tournament—which is known as the nation’s top HBCU academic competition—students are quizzed on topics that include history, religion, science and culture. The Spelman team—whose players included Ariana Benson, Jessika Agyepong, Naomi Steplight, and Maati McKinney—beat 47 other HBCUs to take home the title. Daniel Bascelli served as the team’s coach. “Winning itself isn’t the only reward. It’s about bringing these students together and watching them represent their school in the best possible way,” Bascelli said in a statement, according to the news outlet. “The spirit at Spelman is really strong. If you talk to the students, the feeling for Spelman, the feeling for HCBCUs and the support that Honda gives them is all a part of the pride that they feel.” Florida A&M University, Jackson State University and Morehouse College rounded out the top four.
The competition, which has been in existence for 30 years, was created as an avenue for Honda to make an impact in the lives of students who attend historically Black colleges and universities. “Through HCASC, students are given an opportunity to demonstrate the value of their HBCU experience, represent their schools on a national stage, and connect with like-minded peers,” Steve Morikawa, VP of Corporate Relations and Social Responsibility, American Honda, said in a statement. “We look forward to celebrating the HCASC legacy and the friendships we’ve made over the past 30 years.”
Through the competition, Honda has awarded $8 million in grants to HBCUs and 125,000 students have participated. Several companies are making an effort to contribute to the education of HBCU students. Hennessy teamed up with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund for the creation of a graduate fellowship program.