Attorney, podcaster encouraging college alums give back in unique way

CHICAGO — While college students might look back and say their freshman year in college was the greatest, experts say it can be their loneliest too. One Chicago woman is trying to change that by offering support from afar in her own way.

One year ago, Dana Davenport launched a local podcast “Dana Being Dana.” She's a lawyer by day and a podcast host by night. Every Wednesday, she takes the mic to discuss anything under the sun that connects people. From managing your boss, to managing aging parents, divorce, disease, raising kids to rooting out the best restaurants.

Davenport has long felt there is so much focus on getting kids into college, but her goal is to focus on kids once they get there and help them stay there.

Last fall, she challenged her local listeners in Chicago to go back to their college roots and do something out of the ordinary during the homecoming season.

Davenport graduated from Spelman College in 2000. Last year, she went back to her college dorm room to meet the girls living there now. She left them a note, her contact information and $20 each.

“It’s all about going back and giving back,” Davenport said. “It’s an opportunity to be a light and show a stranger, a kid, that you care.”

Davenport inspired lots of alums. At just two schools, she said over 150 students were touched by the homecoming challenge in 2017. This year, she is hoping more will get involved.

She said it’s just giving some money, being a mentor and making a connection.

“These are the small things that brighten people’s days and make a huge difference,” she said.

More information on the homecoming challenge and the “Dana Being Dana” podcast available on her website.