Collegiate Leadership Program Addresses Negative Impact of COVID-19 on Historically Black College Campuses

Pilot Program Launches in Spring 2022 at Four North Carolina HBCUs

RALEIGH, N.C. (February 2022) HBCU/MSI Collaborative Network proudly announces a new federal collegiate leadership work-study program to support Black Americans in college communities to overcome negative mental, emotional, and physical impacts created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The pilot program, Collegiate Resilience: Healing Post-COVID-19, has launched at four historically black institutions in North Carolina, including N.C. A&T University, Bennett College, Winston-Salem State University, and Fayetteville State University. Five students have been selected from each school to participate in a year and-a-half internship program beginning in the Spring of 2022.

Students participating in the program will be trained in environmental approaches such as prevention sciences, policy change, and advocacy. During the program each student will complete:

  • Study Component – Through an internship with RIZE Consultants, students will be trained in prevention science, creative resilience, and policy advocacy.
  • Work Component – Students will complete an internship with the campus counseling center and/or health center.
  • Culminating Experience Component – Students will plan and implement a campus prevention project to address a problem they have identified. Students will share their project and experience during a summit at the conclusion of the program.

Collegiate Resilience: Healing Post-COVID-19 aims to address the collegiate population that has not yet been strategically included in COVID-19 initiatives for recovery, with the goal of identifying and implementing solutions that can be scaled and replicated across other minority-serving educational institutions.

“Pandemic-related closures have greatly impacted students on all college campuses but have been especially difficult for historically black colleges and universities,” said Nicole Augustine, Founder & CEO of RIZE Consultants. “HBCUs have long been a bridge toward more equitable education and upward mobility for people of color, so dropping attendance rates, decreased tuition income, availability of classes, and teacher burn-out not only impact students in the short-term, but their families and communities in the long run. This pilot program is the first step to prepare and equip students to take these leadership skills and promote them to their peers, their community, and the next generation.”

Talk It Out NC, a state-sponsored initiative to reduce underage drinking, is supporting the HBCU/MSI Collaborative Network with a Talk It Out Tuesday webinar during Black History Month:

  • Developing Student Leadership to Support Underage Drinking Prevention
  • Hosted by Nicole Augustine, Talk It Out NC Ambassador and CEO/Founder of RIZE Consultants
  • February 15, 2:00 p.m.

Talk It Out will also provide resources and assistance to students who choose the topic of reducing underage drinking as their campus prevention project.

Collegiate Resilience: Healing Post-COVID-19 was made possible by a Substance Abuse Prevention (SAP) Block Grant supplemental funding for COVID-19 relief from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and managed by RIZE Consultants.

About RIZE Consultants

RIZE Consultants is your partner in establishing business success. We are creative accelerators and value innovation as the primary strategy for developing solutions. RIZE works collaboratively with substance prevention professionals to increase performance, prioritize diversity and inclusion, and accelerate the innovation of strategies designed to reduce the impact of substance use disorder in communities across the United States.

About HBCU/MSI Collaborative Network

HBCU Collaborative Network exists to develop & scale substance prevention strategies to reduce health disparities and enrich students’ lives to become future equitable leaders. What do we do? We leverage the expertise of the collective to develop initiatives to reduce disparity on HBCU Campuses. Why do we do what we do? We believe HBCUs should be at the center of community change to bring Leaders and Future leaders together for the advancement of BIPOC. Contact us at