Chevrolet, NNPA, DJ Envy and more help HBCU students ‘Discover the Unexpected’

Discover the Unexpected allows HBCU students to discover the unexpected on an eight week road trip.
Chevrolet, NNPA, DJ Envy and more help HBCU students ‘Discover the Unexpected’
During the Discover the Unexpected Closing Ceremony, Chevrolet awarded six aspiring journalists with $10,000 scholarships and certificates of completion at General Motors World Headquarters. The 2019 DTU fellows included: (left to right): Emani Nichols (Morehouse College), Tyla Barnes (Hampton University), Miana Massey (Howard University), Sharon Joy Washington (Florida A&M), Tedarius Abrams (Bethune-Cookman University) and Elae Hill (North Carolina A&T) pictured alongside the DTU Advisor Fonzworth Bentley and Ambassador DJ Envy. In partnership with the National Newspapers Publishers Association, these fellows embarked on an 8-week road trip to discover and share positive stories within African American communities.

Last month, Chevrolet and the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) concluded its 4th annual 2019 Discover the Unexpected (DTU) program, a journalism fellowship for students of color from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU). The fellowship took six students on an eight week road trip designed for them to discover the unexpected about their communities, their careers, and themselves. The program was sponsored by Chevrolet and afforded the students the opportunity to explore the all-new 2019 Chevrolet Blazer and its innovative technology as part of their reporting assignments. The fellows shared stories that shattered perceptions, pushed boundaries and encouraged everyone they came across to discover the unexpected.

The fellowship kicked off in Atlanta and culminated in Detroit at General Motors Global Headquarters for the closing ceremony. Each DTU fellow received a $10,000 scholarship, a $5,000 stipend and certificates of completion. Lifestyle influencer and 2019 DTU Advisor Fonzworth Bentley (a graduate of Morehouse College), 2019 DTU Ambassador DJ Envy (“The Breakfast Club” and a graduate of Hampton University), Chevrolet leaders and NNPA President and CEO Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr. spoke during the closing ceremony.

Chevrolet, NNPA, DJ Envy and more help HBCU students ‘Discover the Unexpected’
Pictured left to right: The 2019 Chevrolet Discover the Unexpected Advisor Fonzworth Bentley and Ambassador DJ Envy. During this 8-week program, these two gentlemen served as mentors to six HBCU aspiring journalists. (Photo provided)

“Chevrolet was excited to partner with the NNPA to drive the importance of storytelling and finding new roads during their fellowship,” said Brad Franz, senior manager, Crossover Vehicles Advertising and Marketing, Chevrolet. “The fellows seized the opportunity to embark on this unexpected journey of professional and personal self-discovery while gaining new tools along the way.”

Over the years, the program has awarded nearly a half-million dollars in scholarships and stipends since its inception in 2016. It began with a select number of schools and, based on the overwhelming response, the submission process was opened to all students in their sophomore through senior years at HBCUs with an interest in journalism, communications, mass media or visual arts.

The 2019 DTU Journalism Fellows included Tedarius Abrams (Bethune-Cookman), Tyla Barnes (Hampton University), Elae Hill (North Carolina A&T), Miana Massey (Howard University), Emani Nichols (Morehouse College) and Sharon Joy Washington (Florida A&M).

Several NNPA publications, including the Atlanta Voice, Chicago Crusader, Houston Forward Times and The Washington Informer, hosted the fellows during their internship road trip experience. These “field trips” allowed the fellows to hone their print, broadcast, digital and photojournalism skills, while driving the Chevrolet Blazer. It also allowed them to discover unexpected stories in the African American community along their journey.

“The NNPA was excited to partner with Chevrolet for another year in support of these young journalists to amplify community voices across our country,” said NNPA President and CEO Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr. “Having these young journalists in our newsrooms working side by side with our publishers was inspiring, and we are committed to including young storytellers’ voices in our reporting.”

The graduating fellows wrote several powerful pieces, produced video content, participated in press conferences and met Charles Muse, one of the Chevrolet Blazer engineers. The fellows’ stories were featured on the NNPA website ( throughout the program.

Learn more about the Discover the Unexpected Journalism Fellowship at

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