The 2019 Chevrolet Discover the Unexpected Fellows, alongside the DTU Advisor Fonzworth Bentley and Ambassador DJ Envy pictured in front of the all-new 2019 Chevrolet Blazer.
The 2019 Chevrolet Discover the Unexpected Fellows, alongside the DTU Advisor Fonzworth Bentley and Ambassador DJ Envy pictured in front of the all-new 2019 Chevrolet Blazer.

Chevrolet and the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) have selected six students from historically Black colleges and universities to participate in the 2019 Discover the Unexpected Journalism (DTU) Fellowship.

With the help of NNPA editors and reporters, the Fellows will travel the country to discover and share positive, inspirational and relevant stories from African American communities during their eight-week summer internship.

The 2019 DTU Journalism Fellows are 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).

Chevrolet announced on Friday, June 7 the 2019 Discover the Unexpected Fellows (left to right): Elae Hill (North Carolina A&T), Sharon Joy Washington (Florida A&M), Tyla Barnes (Hampton University), Tedarius Abrams (Bethune-Cookman University), Emani Nichols (Morehouse College) and Miana Massey (Howard University) pictured with the all-new 2019 Chevrolet Blazer. In partnership with the National Newspapers Publishers Association, these young aspiring journalists will embark on an 8-week road trip to discover and share positive stories within African American communities.

Chevrolet will award each DTU Fellow a $10,000 scholarship and a $5,000 stipend. Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is one of the world’s largest car brands, doing business in more than 100 countries and selling more than 4 million cars and trucks each year.

A trade association of more than 200 African American-owned community newspapers from around the country, the NNPA has consistently been the voice of the Black community for 77 years.

The organization has been an incubator for news that makes history and, as the largest and most influential Black-owned media resource in America, the NNPA delivers news, information and commentary to more than 20 million people each week.

For the DTU program, students form two teams of three Fellows each. Each team will have access to an all-new 2019 Chevrolet Blazer during their reporting assignments.

Launched in 2015 and now in its fourth year, the DTU program has awarded more than $330,000 in scholarships and stipends.

Initially, program participation was limited to students from Howard University, one of the nation’s most prestigious HBCUs. However, based on the overwhelming response and success of the program, the online submission process was eventually expanded to include students from any of the nation’s HBCUs in their sophomore through senior years with an interest in journalism, communications, mass media or visual arts.

“Our partnership with the NNPA continues to provide a unique platform to connect with young and remarkable storytellers.” said Paul Edwards, U.S. vice president of Chevrolet Marketing.

“From the inaugural launch at Howard University to the inclusion of all the HBCUs, it’s Chevrolet’s pleasure to partner with members of the African American community, ensuring a legacy is established for generations to come,” Edwards said.

“We’re thrilled to meet this year’s group of Fellows and immerse them in all things Chevrolet,” he said.

The NNPA “is excited to partner with Chevrolet for another year in support of 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 editors and writers is inspiring and we are committed to including young storytellers’ voices in our reporting,” Chavis said.

The DTU Fellowship will take place from June 6 to Aug. 1, 2019.

The 2019 DTU Fellows teams will each work with two of the four participating NNPA member publications: the Atlanta Voice, Chicago Crusader, Houston Forward Times and Washington Informer.

The Fellows’ journey has already begun in Atlanta, where they participated in two days of journalism training with Chevrolet and NNPA leadership in preparation for them to “hit the road” to begin their reporting assignments.

Their stories will be featured on the Chevrolet DTU website ( and distributed through NNPA’s Newswire service throughout the summer.

Disc jockey and music producer DJ Envy, a co-host of the syndicated radio show “The Breakfast Club,” serves as the program’s national spokesperson while musician and author Fonzworth Bentley will serve as the Fellows’ Road Trip Advisor.

(pictured left to right) The 2019 Chevrolet Discover the Unexpected Advisor Fonzworth Bentley and Ambassador DJ Envy with the all-new 2019 Chevrolet Blazer. During this 8-week program, these two gentlemen will serve as resources and mentors to the six HBCU students who were selected from a dynamic pool of applicants.

Both Envy and Bentley are HBCU alums — Envy graduated from Virginia’s Hampton University and Bentley is a Morehouse College graduate.

To learn more about the Discover the Unexpected Journalism Fellowship, go to

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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