Making A Way Foundation: Sparking Panther Pride at Clark Atlanta’s Homecoming

Last Updated on October 17, 2023

Making A Way Foundation co-founders Patricia Smith and Marquetta Thompson pose in front of Clark Atlanta University sign back in college.

There's something magical about Homecoming season, especially at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) like Clark Atlanta University. The air is charged with a blend of nostalgia, pride, and an unspoken promise of transformative experiences. This year, however, a group of spirited alumni is raising the stakes. They're channeling that palpable Homecoming energy into something extraordinary—the Making A Way Foundation. This initiative is not just another fundraiser; it's a movement aimed at ensuring current students complete their education without financial hiccups.

Why Homecoming is More Than Just a Reunion at HBCUs

Homecoming at Clark Atlanta isn't just a reunion; it's a rekindling of community spirit and shared aspirations. We've all felt it—that instant connection with complete strangers just because you're wearing CAU's colors or cheering for the same touchdown at a football game. This collective bond is what makes our HBCU Homecomings more than just a yearly event. It's a powerful tradition that binds us together as Panthers, irrespective of our graduating class or field of study.

Introducing the Making A Way Foundation Campaign

What's the Goal?

Homecoming is all about giving back to the community that raised you. And what better way to give back than to ease the financial burdens that many students face? Making A Way Foundation's mission is straightforward but impactful. The goal is to raise $300,000 to help current students finish their education. This ambitious target is achievable with contributions from 1,000 alumni who donate $25 a month for 12 months.

How Will it Unfold?

Imagine walking into the yardfest or tailgate, buzzing with the excitement that Homecoming always brings. Now picture booths, volunteers, and banners all promoting this noble cause. That's right; the Making A Way campaign will be everywhere during Homecoming, encouraging alumni to join the movement. What's in it for you? Well, apart from the sheer joy of giving back, there are several inventive incentives. You'll have a chance to snag some cool CAU merch, take part in Panther Pride photo opportunities, and even win a free trip to Homecoming 2024. So you not only get to contribute but also make some incredible memories while you're at it.

The Driving Forces Behind the Initiative

Patricia Smith and Marquetta Thompson, the co-founders of Making A Way Foundation, are Clark Atlanta alumni who understand the struggle of making it through a semester when finances are tight. Patricia Smith states, “We each remembered a moment when we needed a financial boost to complete a semester and we wanted to make it easier for the current students to find that support.” Their firsthand experience has instilled in them a desire to foster a sustainable model for alumni giving, one that not only encourages one-time donations but also cultivates a culture of ongoing financial support.

Why Alumni Involvement is Crucial

If you've ever thought, ‘How can I stay connected with Clark Atlanta after graduation?', here’s your answer. The Making A Way campaign presents an extraordinary opportunity to reclaim inactive alumni, reigniting their Panther spirit. Your involvement serves a dual purpose—it helps current students immediately and strengthens our HBCU community for the long haul. This balance is essential for sustaining the legacy of Clark Atlanta during both prosperous times and unforeseen challenges.

The Time for Action is Now

The beauty of the Making A Way campaign is that it invites you to participate in the broader narrative of community empowerment and educational equity. As alumni, we hold the power to turn a student's aspiration into their reality. So why not start now? Donate to Making A Way Foundation and follow the journey on Instagram @Makingawaycau.

Let's Make History Together

Clark Atlanta has a storied past, but its future can be even brighter with our collective action. Let this Homecoming season mark the beginning of a heightened commitment to uplift our community. Join the Making A Way Foundation and let's make history together.

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