The essence of an HBCU homecoming, a collegiate family reunion, takes on added significance in times of adversity. Attending Morris Brown’s homecoming represented perseverance and provided the familial connection I needed as I am resetting my educational journey in this new home after the grief of my father’s passing. My dad was a strong beliver in my business and capabilities early on. While this entreprenurial journey sounded like a dream to others; my dad gave me emotional support to continue.
I, Brandy Star Merriweather, known as @TheGenZPublicist and founder of @BStarPR, am a 25-year-old entrepreneur, GenZ business leader, and HBCU Advocate. My journey through post-secondary education has been one of self discovery and sacrifices. As the youngest in my family, my education was a priority but financially dependent on me. I did not have the full financial support needed to pursue my endeavors so I instantly had to get to work if I wanted to be enrolled and still have an income.
Clark Atlanta University taught me how to exercise my skills early. The motto ‘Find A Way or Make One’ was truly how my days went. I would spend the summer working events and productions, babysitting, being a waitress – anything that I could do to flow in income. I recall being so passionate about following a blueprint in which my transferrable skills could be leveraged that I remained in a continuous work cycle. After class I’d go right to work whether it was a red carpet event, media junket, or working on a set. This tenacity pushed me to continue efforts within my own company, creating the change I wanted to see in the rooms I had access to.
BStarPR is an innovative PR firm with a mission to amplify the new, now, and next. I push GenZ voices and achievements by specializing in enhancing their branding, cultivating authentic relationships, and curating unique experiences. This followed my passion for amplifying the under amplified, being an advocate for HBCU Students, and wanting to see my peers win. Having run for student government, I started to learn more about the history of HBCUs and the lack of funding and opportunities. Similar to Retool Your School, I went on a journey of establishing resources that my peers could utilize to aid their brands while enrolled.
As BStarPR excelled, I began taking interest in ESports inclusive of Global Business which led me to my next educational pursuit at Morris Brown. Morris Brown College is a symbol of resilience in the HBCU community. It has weathered challenges and is a school of perseverance. I immediately felt at home and this year’s homecoming affirmed that. The campus became a powerful unifying homebase for me. Homecoming served as a rallying point, resetting the offering, and a collective breath of fresh air and rejuvenation. The viral Mama Fly dance, embodying vibrant HBCU culture, became a joyous symbol uniting students, faculty, and alumni across generations.
The event provided students with a unique opportunity for intergenerational connections, fostering a sense of continuity and community. As a Retool Your School campaign advocate, I’ve seen Home Depot’s consistent support at HBCU gatherings, extending beyond finances to active participation in campus renovations, athletic conferences, and celebrations like that of HBCU homecoming.
The campaign contributes to the ongoing narrative of strength, pride, and success within the HBCU community and I’m proud to have celebrated this year’s reunion with their partnership.