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All eyes were on the stunning 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 convertible which raised $1 million for the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF)–the nation’s largest organization exclusively representing HBCUs and PBIs (Predominantly Black Institutions)–at the famed Barrett-Jackson Auction in West Palm Beach, Florida.

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“Supporting non-profit organizations that provide higher education opportunities for young men and women has long been one of the pillars of our charitable endeavors,” said Craig Jackson, Chairman/CEO of Barrett-Jackson.

“We have helped raise more than $144 million to date for many deserving organizations and we are excited to provide a platform in Palm Beach to raise funds and awareness for the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and do it with such an iconic vehicle from our incredible partners at Chevrolet.”

The first-of-its-kind Corvette (which offers the highest-horsepower naturally aspirated V-8 of any production) raised funds for TMCF’s Teacher Quality & Retention Program (TQRP)–a hands-on training initiative that helps pre-service and aspiring K-12 educators develop their pedagogical skills while equipping them to succeed in challenging teaching environments.

Graduates of TQRP become the next generation of future leaders who possess a passion for teaching in high-need communities. To date, TQRP fellows have impacted over 31,000 K-12 students in high-need, urban and rural areas.

“We are proud of our relationship with Barrett-Jackson, GM and Chevrolet, and fully support the next generation of leaders from HBCUs, institutions that play a critical role in ensuring young people of color are not left behind,” said TMCF President and CEO Dr. Harry L. Williams.

“TQRP provides additional opportunities for students of color which will ultimately lead to a more diverse workforce, both in the K-12 educational environment and beyond.”

Since its founding in 1987, TMCF has awarded over $300 million in scholarships for students and boasts a 90% graduation rate for students in its programs.

“Achieving our goal of being the most inclusive company in the world requires a commitment to grow the next generation of diverse engineers and designers. That’s why Chevrolet and General Motors support the Thurgood Marshall College Fund’s Teacher Quality & Retention Program and its mission to prepare teachers that inspire the next generation of students, especially students of color,” said Steve Majoros, Director of Chevrolet Marketing.

“We’re hopeful the sale of the first retail Corvette Z06 Convertible will be a great benefit to TMCF as one of many efforts by General Motors to build a diverse STEM education pipeline.”

100% of the winning bid came from Rick Hendrick, Chairman/CEO of Hendrick Automotive Group and owner of 14-time NASCAR Cup Series champions Hendrick Motorsports, who continues to support worthwhile initiatives at car auction.

“General Motors and Chevrolet are honored to support the Thurgood Marshall College Fund on its mission to empower students and educators for success,” said Scott Bell, Chevrolet Global Vice President.

“The proceeds from this sale of the first retail production Corvette Z06 convertible will support high-caliber training for future educators studying at HBCUs and PBIs across the nation.”

While covering the buzzy event, we were able to speak to TMCF reps, witness a first production car raise $1 million before it even hit the road, and test drive the super sleek Corvette Stingray in gorgeous south Florida weather.

Peep our recap video below:

For more info on the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, click here.

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