I have been itching to share my personal experience at Howard Homecoming, the mecca of black college events, but the excitement of my other favorite H (Halloween), got in the way. Now that ghosts, goblins, witches, and candy are gone with the wind fabulous, it’s time to spill the tea.
When the student planning committee invited Teen Diaries / Pretty Girls Sweat to be a vendor at this year’s 89th annual, EPIC themed Howard Homecoming, I was elated. After all, I have been so curious for years about what goes down at an HU reunion of students, alumni, and the hottest talent in the music industry. Now I finally had a great excuse to attend!
Waking up at 4am to set up our vendor booth at Yardfest in the dark with unpredictable, chilling winds was quite the challenge. But as soon as the sun emerged from the horizon, our Pretty Girls Sweat ambassadors and I became extremely excited about what the promising day had in store. Some students started stirring around campus heading to class, while others carefully planned their outfits for the unofficial fashion show that takes place each year on the “grass-covered runway” called the yard. At noon, music was blaring from the local radio station while food vendors serving everything from seafood to smoothies to Caribbean fare made mouths water. Groups started to cluster for impromptu dance battles, while others posted up to take in the scene.
There we were, in the thick of it all, promoting fitness and female empowerment to an anxious crowd waiting to see Big Sean, 2 Chainz, Juicy J, and A$AP Ferg. LOL. Surprisingly, we proved that nothing is impossible. Hundreds of young women of all ages were super supportive of our mission and stopped by our booth to play games, buy merchandise, and learn how they can improve their own health. Even guys couldn’t stay away. Many inquired about the meaning of Pretty Girls Sweat and immediately made donations to join the fight against childhood obesity.
Angry patrons, long lines, student scuffles, limited bathrooms, and canceled performances have been many of the headlines associated with this event, but our bubble of positive influence was a stabilizer of sorts.
So will we be back next year? In a heartbeat!
Special thanks to all of our Howard PGS Ambassadors: Valerie Previl, Syreeta Crawford, and Shawndrea Rawal as well as our volunteers Azure Harris, Lachelle Metcalf, and Selena Covington. I appreciate you all more than words can say.
Want to support our mission of ending childhood obesity in America? Purchase a Pretty Girls Sweat t-shirt in our online shop (HERE). *100% of the profits fund free fitness programs for teen girls around the country.