The Juvenile Urban Multicultural Program (JUMP Nation) celebrated its 28th year of providing mentorship for multicultural youth, holding its annual banquet on Friday in the Mandela Room of the University Union.
The event featured vocal, dance and spoken word performances and cultural cuisine. Students were also honored for their work toward mentorship and leadership within the local community.
This year’s theme, “Rosé Palais,” was reflected in the event’s location, a mansion filled with blue, pink, white and orange decor. The banquet featured a dessert station of cupcakes, fruit and cotton candy, and the night was filled with elegance and high energy.
Lauren Millwood, a sophomore majoring in philosophy, politics and law, opened the show with her rendition of The Fugees’ “Killing Me Softly.” Millwood serenaded the crowd as she strummed her guitar under the somber pink light, and followed up the song with a cover of Summer Walker’s “Come Thru.” As she sang, the crowd erupted into applause.
The Black Dance Repertoire graced the stage with dance selections, featuring music from Ciara, Drake and Bhad Bhabie. In the style of hip-hop, dancers gave an enthusiastic performance.
JUMP continued its annual skit, which is acted out by its e-board members. This year’s skit focused on breaking the glass ceiling of Black women in coding. The story followed Jade, a skilled coder who develops an app that connects youth to mentors across the New York City area. Jade experiences many obstacles of breaking into the industry, from struggling to get investors to give her a chance to being betrayed by her best friend. In the end, she prevails and successfully breaks the glass ceiling.
Later, Kendra Gourgue, a sophomore double-majoring in human development and English, ignited the crowd with her poem, “The Kids.”
“Instead, let’s explore the joy of the children that may not be on TV, but are the only children I’ve ever seen filled with promise, hopes so high,” she said. “You can teach anything but you can’t learn that drive because for these kids it’s inside.”
The banquet leads up to JUMP Nation’s annual leadership conference, titled “JUMP-ing Into College: A Pathway to Success,” which provides high school students an opportunity to be exposed to higher education through workshops and forums. The conference will be held on Saturday, Nov. 9.