Subscribe to our RSS Feed

JCSU Wins $30,000 in The Home Depot’s Retool Your School Contest

Photo of award from Home Depot Retool Your School

Atlanta / April 26, 2022 - Johnson C. Smith University won a $30,000 grant from The Home Depot as part of its Retool Your School Contest. The award was announced during a hybrid ceremony in Atlanta to celebrate the participating schools and announce the 30 winners on April 26, 2022.  

This is the 13th year for the program, which annually provides grants to schools ranging from $20,000 to $75,000. The Home Depot will invest $1 million in grants to support improvements on the campuses of 30 HBCUs during the 2022 program. The Home Depot says they have given away $4.2 million to 70 percent of HBCUs through the more than 150 grants provided in past years.

"Grants from The Home Depot have helped HBCUs make more than $5 million worth of improvements, including the creation of outdoor eco-classrooms, renovation of health facilities, revamping of residence halls and more,” said Derek Bottoms, chief diversity officer for The Home Depot.

JCSU’s Retool Your School campaign was spearheaded by Dr. Davida Haywood ’98, vice president for Student Affairs. “To be recognized by Home Depot as a first-time competitor that secured enough votes to win one of the grant awards on our first try speaks volumes about our ability to rally Golden Bulls all over the world,” Haywood said. “Whether you voted online, via Instagram or Twitter or attended one of our many in-person or virtual Vote-Ins, you helped make this a reality for our students and campus.”

The award ceremony featured celebrities who are HBCU alumni: Laz Alonso (Howard), Terrance J. (North Carolina A&T) and DJ Stormy (Alabama State). Haywood took to the stage, wearing her gold and blue paraphernalia, along with other grant winners to be congratulated by the crowd, The Home Depot representatives and the celebrities.

“I am grateful to our students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends who supported and voted for us. This grant validates all of the hard work and organization behind our campaign. We are ready to commence our campus improvement project and maximize our $30,000 to enhance the campus experience,” said Haywood. 

Each year the participating HBCUs are divided into clusters based on student population to allow similar-sized schools to compete against each other. The most visible part of the campaign is an online voting contest where schools are encouraged to get their students, alumni and supporters to vote for them online and by using online hashtags. The top 10 schools with the most votes in each of the three clusters win grants ranging from $20,000 - $75,000. 

JCSU had 446,291 votes which earned us the fourth-place spot in our cluster. Fourth-place winners in each cluster were awarded $30,000 each.

Return to Latest News