Every summer, a number of Black celebrities donate their time and money to mentor children for summer camp. These summer camp spots fill up fast because they offer children the opportunity to learn from former child stars, athletes and entrepreneurs. Here’s a list of some of the camps Black celebrities host. If you’d like your child to attend them in the future, I have two simple suggestions: sign up for the email list on each celebrities website AND apply early! Click each celebrity’s name for a link to the camp’s contact information.
Black Celebrities Who Host Summer Camps
The actress best known as Rudy from “The Cosby Show” hosts Kamp Kizzy during the summer and presents year-round events to mentor young women, ages 11-16.
For the 2016 camp, applicants had to complete and 500 word essay, two letters of recommendation and 10 hours of community service.
Last week, I saw Keshia Knight-Pulliam with Kamp Kizzy Girls who attended a private advanced screening of Finding Dory.
Follow Kamp Kizzy on Facebook
The father of NBA Star Dwayne Wade hosts Camp RED (Real Education Delivered). Campers learn life skills on finances and creativity. Of course, basketball is a part of the camp and offers opportunities for disabled athletes to participate too.
Follow the ProPops Foundation on Facebook.
Founder Dwayne Wade Sr. says, “I am not here to be great, I am here to do great things that will have an impact on our nation.”
See his interview with the CBS TV station in Miami:
The 8th annual Steve Harvey Mentoring Program for Young Men just wrapped up outside Atlanta for 2016. “A total of 220 fatherless male youths from across the country, aged 13-18, were invited to attend a mentoring camp experience” with speakers including Choice Hotels CEO Steve Joyce and former NBA shooting guard Duane Ferrell and others.
The young men experience educational, inspirational and team-building activities. Donations from major corporations and the public make the Steve Harvey Mentoring Camp possible.
The chart-topping and Grammy-winning singer partners with the Fresh Air Fund each year to mentor young girls in Upstate New York. The focus of the three and a half week camp is career skills. It’s designed for young women in New York City in 7th – 12th grades. “If accepted, students begin their commitment to the program by attending The Fresh Air Fund’s Camp Mariah in the summer and continue in the program year-round from September to June.”
Mariah Carey is a board member and generous supporter, so the camp bears her name.
Follow the Fresh Air Fund on Facebook
R&B star Usher’s New Look (UNL) is a techie and artistic kid’s dream. The two-week camp at Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta allows campers to network with “music producers, fashion stylists, and other members of Usher’s entourage.” UNL has partnered with brands like Microsoft and Comcast.
Middle schoolers, high school students and college students can participate in year-round mentorship programs.
In September 2016, Usher hopes to open the Spark Lab, an incubator and safe space for young minds. Tickets are on sale on the website for an upcoming Atlanta event.
Follow the Usher New Look Foundation on Facebook
Neo-Soul Singer and actress Jill Scott is devoted to her hometown, Philadelphia. Her annual summer camp is free and provides a full day of outdoor activities for children in North Philadelphia.
Talk Show Host and Former DJ Wendy Williams is better known for her opinions on celebrity gossip, but you may not know about the foundation she started with her husband and son. The Hunter Foundation hosts fundraising events to provide scholarships for young women in New Jersey to attend summer camp.
Follow the Wendy Williams Show on Facebook
Supermodel Tyra Banks provides a one week empowerment camp for girls to on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. As an awkward tall teenager, “the encouraging mentors and role models that surrounded Tyra guided her to overcome adversity by believing in herself, which led to her subsequent success.” Tyra’s celebrity friends stop by to provide support too.
Follow the Tyra Banks TZone on Facebook (although it hasn’t been regularly updated)