Denny’s First Generation Fundraiser Program

For other Denny’s scholarship opportunities click here. Applications open September 1.

The Tom Joyner Foundation and Denny’s Corporation, franchisor and operator of one of America’s largest full-service restaurant chains, are showing their love for first-generation college students with the launch of the “Tom Joyner Foundation – Denny’s First Generation College Scholarship Road to Success Fundraiser.”

Supporters of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) from around the country can donate to the scholarship fund through or text to donate by texting the word Dennys to the number 41444.

Online: Complete the form below.

Text to Donate: Using a smartphone, text the word Dennys to the number 41444.

“It is so important for these first generation students to have a chance to get an education,” said Tom Joyner, host of the nationally syndicated Tom Joyner Morning Show and founder/chairman of the Foundation. “And, I’m particularly excited that they will have the chance to attend an HBCU.”

The Foundation and Denny’s have been longtime partners on various projects, including the brand’s ‘Hungry for Education’ scholarship program, which launched in 2013 as part of Denny’s continued commitment to help fight childhood hunger and promote education. To date, Denny’s has awarded more than $500,000 in combined scholarships to deserving elementary, high school and college students across the country.

The fundraiser was formally announced at the NAACP Image Awards Red Carpet Live, televised via TV One from Los Angeles. April Kelly-Drummond, director, diversity affairs and multicultural engagement for Denny’s, said: “We love working with the Tom Joyner Foundation and are particularly excited to assist first-generation college students,” she said. “We know that if these students can get a chance at an education, they will have greater opportunities to pursue their career interests and contribute to their communities in many different ways.”


The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reports that in the 2011-2012 academic year nearly a third of the undergraduates in colleges and universities were the first in their families to go to college. NCES also points out that over a lifetime, an average worker with a bachelor’s degree can earn $1 million more than a worker without a post-secondary degree.

The Postsecondary National Policy Institute says that many first generation students have lower household median incomes and greater financial needs than those who have at least one parent who has attended college. Additionally, the percentage of first-generation students borrowing federal money has more than doubled over the past 20 years.

Take a look at the commercial below, airing on the 2018 NAACP Image Awards, February 15.

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