Pictured (l-r) Memphis Urban League Young Professionals President Joshua Perkins Memphis Urban League President Tonja Sesley-Baymon and CGI Entertainment CEO Curtis Givens. (Courtesy photo)

To address the challenge that some college students face trying to pay for books, the Memphis Urban League Young Professionals (MULYP) have entered into a partnership that will yield book scholarships.

The partnership links MULYP with CGI Entertainment CEO Curtis Givens and his wife, T’Juan Givens. The result is the availability of book scholarships for African-American high school seniors en route to the University of Memphis or LeMoyne-Owen College.

Memphis Urban League President Tonja Sesley-Baymon and CGI Entertainment CEO Curtis Givens. (Courtesy photo)

Memphis Urban League President/CEO Tonja Sesley-Baymon introduced the scholarship during MULYP’s annual “Winter Social” last Monday (Jan. 28). The Givens’ presented MULYP with a check for $2,500.

“We believe that every youth should be ready for college, career and life,” said Sesley-Baymon. “By providing this opportunity, MULYP is strengthening this belief and the efforts of the Memphis Urban League.”

MULYP President Joshua Perkins said starting a scholarship fund was one of his personal goals for 2019.

“I spoke with the executive board and expressed my idea and everyone agreed. Mr. Givens and his wife were the first to accept without hesitation,” he said.

“We recently partnered with LeMoyne-Owen College to assist with professional development and job readiness programs on campus, and now we have an opportunity to have an even bigger impact by providing some deserving students with a scholarship.”

The Winter Social event caters to new MULYP enrollees. The scholarship announcement added to an evening already accented by conversations and cocktails.

Givens said he was excited about the linkage with MULYP.

“I’ve been aware of this organization since my childhood, and it’s really meaningful to me because I have young boys. I always want them to know the importance of doing their best and giving back. I love the purpose of this organization, so when I was asked to donate it was a no brainer,” he said.

MULYP’s mission is to provide a place for young professionals to support the Memphis Urban League. The focus is on community service, civic involvement, health literacy, youth mentoring and development, economic empowerment and personal and professional development.

Givens also announced that he would also serve on the MULYP Board of Directors for 2019-20.

“I’m here to be the support in whatever MULYP needs me to do,” he said. “I would like to assist in bringing more awareness to young professionals about this organization and the benefits that will help them in their quest to a successful career.”

The application process for scholarships will open later this year. Applicants will be able to apply on the MULYP website. LeMoyne-Owen College, the University of Memphis and high school counselors will alert students to the open enrollment date.