Today marks 90 days before the HBCU Legacy Bowl and New Orleans Saints organizations present the HBCU Legacy Bowl career fair for students and student athletes enrolled in HBCU institutions. Shanica Dabney Henderson chairs the HBCU Legacy Bowl for its inaugural season.
As Vice President of Production for New Orleans Saints and Pelicans, Dabney-Henderson took a moment to discuss the game’s uniqueness, career fair, scholarship, and partnership between the event and professional franchises in New Orleans.
Equally important, she detailed why Saints and Pelicans owner Gael Benson was committed to ensuring the success of the HBCU Legacy Bowl for founders Doug Williams and James “Shack” Harris.
offer a chance
Besides being a sports writer, I have enjoyed a twenty-nine year career as a professional, developing talent in various sectors across the country. I listen daily to job seekers and employers and have a pulse for what young minorities in today’s workforce desire – opportunity.
Shaneika Dabney-Henderson embodies what New Orleans Saints and Pelicans demanded when she had the “opportunity” to become Vice President of Production. To lead the transformation of the production division into the franchise, Ms. Benson and her team valued Shaneika’s expertise, talent, intelligence, drive, passion and forward-thinking. Also, being a citizen of New Orleans made part of Lagniappe.
Dabney-Henderson, like her, hopes that a company or organization at the HBCU Legacy Bowl Career Fair will “provide job opportunities and career counseling” for session attendees.
Dabney-Henderson shared that, “The career fair will give HBCU athletes an opportunity they normally wouldn’t have, and they should have been competing for a job in the NFL, but this career fair, it’s really going to do the same.
For other students at the HBCU, they are non-athletes and expose them to opportunities on a larger scale than they normally get.
We are going to have companies out there that are actively looking for young leaders and future stars and these students will have the opportunity to get that time to get that access that they might not normally get and maybe walk away with by chance. “
The key again, is “chance”.
Courses and Scholarships
Eight graduating seniors at the four HBCUs in Louisiana — Southern, Grambling, Dillard, and Xavier — will be selected by the committee for internships during the job fair. Students will have direct access with business leaders, motivational speakers, and featured participants in the seminar session. Also, they will be enriched with “behind the scenes” experiences and rarely given access to college students.
Shanica is a New Orleans native and serves as the current Vice President of Production for the organizations New Orleans Saints and Pelicans. She is not an HBCU graduate, but her cultural roots in New Orleans exposed her to elements of the HBCU experience from homecoming, parades, soccer games, and competition.
As a first-generation college graduate, Dabney-Henderson and her family understand the importance of a college education. Her nephew Tristen Edgerson passed away early in 2021. He recently graduated from college and trained for me at Saints News Network. The HBCU Legacy Bowl will honor his name with the Tristen Edgerson Scholarship.
“I am very excited that the HBCU Legacy Bowl will be offering two scholarships. Each scholarship will be worth $2,500 per student at HBCU and this scholarship will be a ‘Tristan Edgerson Scholarship,’ named after my nephew who passed away earlier this year from an aneurysm in the brain.
And he was, an aspiring sports broadcaster. He has at one point attended Grambling and is obviously an HBCU. And I was thrilled to hear that they would allow his legacy to live on through this scholarship.
We hope this helps other students like Tristin who did not have access to a privileged environment where doors opened easily for him. We want to give this to a student like him in hopes of helping them get that base they need to take the next step,” Dabney-Henderson voiced.
Also noticed that her The family wanted to turn his tragedy into something positive.”
New Orleans St. HBCU Talent Value
The HBCU Legacy Bowl Career Fair hopes that participating companies will see value in HBCU students and provide opportunities to shape their skills and talents.
Dabney-Henderson thoughtfully communicated how the New Orleans Saints franchise values educated HBCU employees and local citizens who positively impact the greater New Orleans community.
“that they [Saints and Pelicans] We also recognize the value in the HBCU schools and students, and we’ve been kind of as an organization dip our toes more into that water. And over the past year we’ve done some mentorship programs with HBCU Battle Brains that’s usually hosted in South by Southwest but they have to do just about that, they’ve also done all of the HBCU’s hours through that where the head of the Saints and Pelicans was Dennis Lucha and me and Swain Cash.
We participated in this event and did some mentorship opportunities with students and HBCU schools. Now that’s just the next natural step, right?
Having the opportunity to partner with a very formal organization and event that we hope and feel very strong will only help bring these athletes into HBCU and put them on a different level and give them a different level of exposure.
Then again, through a career fair, helping students get access to what they don’t traditionally have. So this is the direction the organization wants to go because they understand the value.
We have HBCU alumni working in our institution. I’m thinking of Jesse Thomas, a Spelman alumnus, a rock star in that organization.
They see the value of these schools and they see the kinds of students that are being produced from the HBCUs and the HBCU and I think it’s great not only for the face, but as I mentioned earlier, from a global point of view, HBCU is finally getting their long-awaited respect for the level of talent that they provide both on the athletic side and on the sports side. commercial.
Listen to the full interview here:
The New Orleans Saints organization hopes the HBCU Legacy Bowl will become another “pillar” event in New Orleans, as Dabney-Henderson noted. The Big Easy is the annual host of the Bayou Classic, Jazz Fest, Essence Festival, Sugar Bowl, and many other sporting and cultural events. The HBCU Legacy Bowl expects the game and week-long sessions to be consistent in New Orleans for many years.
Doug Williams and James “Shack” Harris envision that the inaugural All-Star Game will have the support of the companies, sponsors and athletes in the NFL, and it’s paying off. The two legendary men at HBCU hope that athletes and students will have the opportunity to connect, participate, interview, join participating organizations and land a successful career start.
The HBCU Legacy Bowl Career Show will be held at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans inside Elite Ballroom B from February 17-18 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Entry is free to the public.