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Columbia Bank Sponsors Historically Black College or University (HBCU) Scholarship Ride Bike Ride from Newark to Washington, DC Aims to Support College Bound Newark Students

August 23, 2022

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Columbia Bank is proud to announce its sponsorship of the 2022 Historically Black College or University (HBCU) Scholarship Ride, an annual 216 mile bike ride from Newark, New Jersey to Howard University in Washington, DC. The program was instituted to raise scholarship monies awarded to high school graduates in Newark who will attend an HBCU, and help bridge the gap between a deserving student’s desire for educational excellence, and the ability to pay for that experience.

Columbia Bank’s participation is part of its commitment efforts to foster the Newark-area. The bank recently opened its second branch in the city and continually supports many of its local charities and nonprofits.

The 2022 HBCU Scholarship Ride is set to kick off on August 26th at 8:00 am. The Ride will depart from “The Yard” at Military Park in Newark, New Jersey with a special stop including refreshments at 11:30 am at Columbia Bank’s 389 Route 18 South East Brunswick, New Jersey branch. After the two day route through Philadelphia and Maryland, The Ride will commence on Sunday, August 28th at “The Yard” on Howard University’s main campus, followed by a finish line celebration. Cyclists will chronicle their journey in real time.

The HBCU Scholarship Ride started from founder Hassan Abdus-Sabur’s passion for giving black students the opportunity to attend a HBCU. Having attended Howard University in the 90’s, he experienced the value a HBCU offers young black minds. Due to unforeseen financial circumstances Abdus-Sabur had to return to Newark to help support his family. On a whim, in August of 2020 during the height of the Coronavirus Pandemic and widespread economic disparity, he reached out to five of his avid cyclist friends, explained his vision, and created a fundraiser centered around a journey on bikes from Newark to Howard University. The group live-streamed their trek and turned to social media to document the exciting voyage as they passed through four states in the heat of summer and encountered multiple obstacles. The end result – they raised $6,500 to aid in the education of a young Newark woman.

The fundraiser continues to grow each year. The 2021 HBCU Scholarship Ride set a goal of raising $25,000 to assist two deserving students, but with the outpouring of community support, $38,000 was garnered. The additional money resulted in not only being able to provide a $10,000 scholarship to two Howard University freshmen, but also smaller need-based grants to five more Howard students.

With Columbia Bank proudly serving as the 2022 title sponsor donating $10,000, the bar has been set even higher – with the goal of raising $50,000. The money will be divided amongst six newly graduated Newark students attending not only Howard University, but also Morgan State University, University of Maryland Eastern Shore and North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.

Said Abdus-Sabur, “Thank you to Columbia Bank for being a Top-Tier sponsor of the HBCU Bike Ride this year. Their contribution has made it possible to keep our promise to Newark students that we would not allow financial barriers to infringe upon their dreams of attending an HBCU." “As a true community bank, we are committed to do our part to support our neighborhoods and make them flourish. We are so proud to sponsor the annual HBCU Scholarship Ride and help Newark students realize their dreams of furthering their education," said Thomas J. Kemly, President and CEO of Columbia Bank.

To contribute to HBCU Scholarship Ride donations, please visit:

https://www.gofundme.com/f/believe-in-newark-hbcu-scholarship-bike-ride

All donations are 501c3 tax deductible through “The Believe in Newark Foundation.”

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