Chevrolet and the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) concluded their sixth year of “Discover the Unexpected (DTU),” a 10-week immersive internship and scholarship program for 11 HBCU students.
The 2022 DTU program was amplified by notable industry mentors and esteemed alumni. Program ambassador Terrence J, American actor, model and entertainer, accompanied the students in New Orleans as they participated in The Big Easy Bolt Race, a curated team ride and drive scavenger hunt to learn about Chevy electrification (benefits of an EV, charging, range, etc.) in addition to Black history and New Orleans culture.
Terrence J spoke with rolling out about being an ambassador and working with the interns throughout the program.
What does it mean for you to be an ambassador of the DTU program?
To combine things that I’m passionate about, and to do things with my life, not just my career, means a lot to me. At this stage, it’s of the utmost importance. Shooting movies is great. I love shooting films, but having one-on-one contact with these fellows and helping them grow is what legacy building is all about. It’s not just about career things and work things, it’s about personal connection. That’s why a program like this is really important to me.
You’re a graduate of an HBCU. How important was it to see Chevrolet’s involvement with those colleges?
I graduated in 2004, and the world was very different back then. How people viewed HBCUs was very different. We had to fight tooth and nail for a lot of big companies like this to get involved. Now to see super big fortune 500 companies getting involved in HBCUs on such a grand scale, it’s truly a blessing, It’s truly a great thing to see that growth, and to see these partnerships form. We want to continue to see these partnerships grow, and we want to continue to see those internships, scholarships, apprenticeships and fellowships like this.
How can you relate to the interns that you worked with alongside this program?
It inspires me in so many ways because when I was in college, I was working at NASCAR as an intern, so I’ve always had a connection to cars. The summer that I spent doing my internship, it changed my life, waking up working with executives, learning different skills, and just taking the gloves off and throwing punches at the real world. Those experiences were life changing for me, and very transformative. When I came back after that summer, I was a completely different student going into the second half of my college career. For me to see them and to see the growth just over the couple of weeks of this program, I know that these students are headed for success, and I’m just happy that we were all just a small part of it.