Category Archives: U-CAN Featured Alumni

Chinelo | U-CAN Alumni

Chinelo Bivens

High School Attended:
C.K. McClatchy
Class of 2007
Undergraduate Institution:
Philander Smith College, Cum Lade
Graduate Institution:
William H. Bowen School of Law
Class of 2014
Current Activity:
Analyst for the Office of Attorney General, Department of Justice, State of California
After having signed the paperwork committing myself to what would become my alma mater U-CAN hosted a picnic for us to get to know the other people who also were going to the different schools that they had chosen. I appreciated that because despite my insistence that I had to leave California and be on my own I had no idea how long it would take me to adjust to no longer being in California. Part of that process was helped by the folks I met at the U-CAN picnic. I complained to them about missing places like Oscar’s and they understood and complained right along with me.
While I am not sure how things would have went without the benefit of that particular U-CAN event I can guarantee that it most certainly played a part in my becoming acclimated to Little Rock Arkansas and thus doing well in the Undergraduate program at Philander Smith College.”

Earthalena | U-CAN Alumni

Earthalena | U-CAN Alumni

“U-CAN played a major role for me going off to  Alcorn State University. Because of U-CAN, I am currently in my Junior year studying Music Education. I am on scholarship for Band and the Dean’s List. Alcorn State [University] is a great school to start your higher education and to stay focused. “

Drew | UCAN Alumni

Drew Pearson -TestimonialsBest decision I have ever made! Xavier University of Louisianan is the #1 HBCU in the country for assisting African Americans with getting into medical school. The world renown pharmacy program is where I will obtain my degree from. It offers all the comforts of home, culture, southern hospitality and of course my education desires. Dr. Rowe and the UCAN organization showed me the way and made certain I was on the right path to get here. Through their inspiration, dedication, and belief in me, I hope to be referred to as Dr. Pearson one day.


Drew Pearson

Chemistry/ Pharm Major

JaMaal | UCAN Alumni

JaMaal ThompsonWhen I entered my Junior year at West Campus High School, I wasn’t sure which college to go to. I knew I wanted to go and that my family wanted me to also, but we didn’t know any of the steps.

One day, U-CAN came to my school and talked about going to an HBCU and it peaked my interests. I had never been in an environment where a predominantly black student population was as determined to succeed as I was.
I went to the summer bridge program and I was prepared for the college fair at Sacramento High School where I was offered several scholarships.

Currently, I am a sophomore sports management major at Howard University and I am grateful for the UCAN Program!



Jamall | UCAN Alumni

Jamall photoI desperately wanted to attend college, but I knew my high school records and former perspectives in life created an unfortunate circumstance. At that time, I had full time employment but saw myself trapped inside the world of being over worked and underpaid; I wanted a change. I wanted my life to encounter and create new possibilities not usually afforded to my family and friends; however, I did not know how to go about finding those opportunities that would open the doors necessary for the change that I desired. That was until I met Dr. Rowe.

I met Dr. Rowe in 2006 and told him that I was willing to attend whatever school he believed would be good for me. As a result of that conversation, I moved to Jackson, MS to attend and graduate from Tougaloo College with a Bachelors Degree in Interdisciplinary Humanities. It was a complex and rich experience for me and one for which I am grateful. I attended the Divinity School at Yale University after graduation where I received my Masters of Divinity and then Union Theological Seminary in NYC where I earned a Masters of Sacred Theology. Currently, I am studying at Union Theological Seminary where I am earning a PhD in Philosophical Theology while also involved in the African American studies (IRAAS) dept. at Columbia University.

I am more than grateful for my experience with UCAN and if there is any advice I can give to the future and current students, it would be to remain faithful and committed to the dreams and goals you have. Let nothing slow you down other than better planning; let no one get in your way unless they’re trying to get you back on track; forgive yourself for mistakes and encourage yourself when you need it. You can be your worst enemy and your best supporter. As much as possible, always lean towards being your best supporter.

Jalen | UCAN Alumni

jalenMy family has known Dr. Rowe for over 7 years. My older brother is a UCAN alumni. UCAN has been a great support system for me. As a result, I am currently in my second year of college on a football scholarship at Alcorn State University in Lorman, MS.

My future plans consist of earning my degree and playing in the NFL. I also want to be a voice for my community and create a support system for students who desire to go to college.

My advice to students who desire to go to college is to never allow anyone make you believe college is not an option. Always look adversity in the eye and use it as an opportunity to turn your dreams into a reality.

Jordan Baker | UCAN Alumni

I learned about UCAN when I was a high school sophomore. Dr. Rowe would continuously come to my high school and educate students about HBCUs and how our college options were limitless. The next summer, I had an experience that would change my path in life. The college tour allowed me to see people who not only looked like me, but who also had similar ambitions and goals. From that moment, I knew I would attend an HBCU.

Today, I am ready to embark on my senior year of college as a Mass Communications major at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, NC. I knew that Smith was the school for me once I stepped onto the campus. UCAN introduced me to my future Alma Matter.  When asked why I chose Smith, my first words are “Well, I went on this college tour…”

I would tell every high school student to think big for college.  Never settle for what is easy or what is already at your fingertips. It is okay to be afraid and skeptical about changes, but that’s life.  An HBCU experience is like no other college experience. The relationships and memories made at an HBCU create once in a lifetime experiences that will carry into your life well after graduation.

Lynnise Davis UCAN Alumni

Lynnise N. Davis | UCAN Alumni

Lynnise Davis UCAN Alumni

High school Attended: Rio Linda High Class of 2001

HBCU College Fair Year: Fall 2000

College Attended: Dillard University

Graduation Year: 2005

Major/Field of Study: Computer Science

I am President and CEO of Ingenuity Designs a marketing & graphic design company,  started 7 years ago. I am currently in the executive program at Drexel University pursuing a Master’s in Business Administration with a concentration in Entrepreneurship & Marketing