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How Move-In Day Mafia Helps Freshmen at HBCUs

How Move-In Day Mafia Helps Freshmen at HBCUs

Eligible freshmen at HBCUs can get financial assistance, dorm makeovers and more from Move-In Day Mafia! This organization provides some incredible benefits for underserved students who have aged out of foster care, experienced homelessness, or need financial assistance.

In this article, we’ll discuss what Move-In Day Mafia is, who they help, and how you can get help!

What is Move-In Day Mafia?

Move-In Day Mafia (MIDM) is an organization that offers financial assistance and free dorm makeovers for eligible first-year freshmen at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)!

This volunteer organization brings like-minded people together to help support students who need a little extra help.

The Move-In Day Mafia was organized by TeeJ Mercer, also known as Auntie TeeJ. She’s an award-winning Hollywood TV editor and producer who worked on hits like Shrek, The Chronicles of Narnia and Kung Fu Panda. She’s also a graduate of Howard University, which is an HBCU.

What does Move-In Day Mafia do?

Move-In Day Mafia organizes a group of volunteers who go to HBCUs to help former foster kids get settled into their new dorms. They surprise students with school shopping sprees, essential dorm room supplies and the ultimate dorm room makeover.

It doesn’t end on move-in day, though. The support from this organization continues while the student attends college. They check in every month to make sure you’re okay. They also send ongoing care packages and support to help students meet their ongoing needs. They also make sure to show up on graduation day, too!

Some of the items that the Move-In Day Mafia provides include:

  • Cleaning products
  • Cutlery
  • Flash drives
  • Hygiene items
  • Linens
  • Microwave (if the school doesn’t already provide one)
  • Moving help
  • Refrigerator (if the school doesn’t already provide one)
  • Snacks
  • Towels
  • TV

The most exciting thing, of course, is the custom dorm room design. This makeover is provided by the famous interior designers at Nikki Klugh Design Group. Their team works with you to design the perfect space for you. The makeover process and reveal is filmed as part of a TV show.

Who does Move-In Day Mafia help?

In order to be eligible for assistance from the Move-In Day Mafia, you must meet at least ONE of the following requirements:

  • You aged out of foster care.
  • You are homeless.
  • You have a $0 Estimated Family Contribution on your FAFSA application.

You must also attend an HBCU that has been selected by Move-In Day Mafia for this year. It appears that the selected colleges change every year. By focusing on a few select colleges, this organization is able to organize their volunteers and maximize the efficiency of their funding better. You can find this year’s participating schools on the MIDM website.

In 2023, the following HBCUs were open for Move-In Day Mafia applications:

  • Paul Quinn College in Dallas, Texas
  • Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee
  • Prairie View AVM University near Houston, Texas
  • Howard University in Washington DC

If you qualify, you will need to provide proof of financial status and housing assignment when you apply. You will also need to agree to at least one monthly check-in with their student support team.

The deadline for applications usually occurs in early August, so it’s important to apply right away if you are eligible and interested in receiving this support!

You can apply online. There is a different application form depending on what college you are attending, so make sure you click the right apply button on this page!

Why is Move-In Day Mafia needed?

TeeJ founded this organization because she wanted to help more former foster kids successfully graduate college. College is a difficult experience and it’s even harder when you don’t have a family or anyone to lean on.

Consider these statistics, as provided by the MIDM organization:

  • 70% of kids in foster care dream of going to college but only 3% go… and only 1% graduate.
  • Over 50% of former foster kids spend some time in prison.
  • 70% of girls aging out of foster care become pregnant by age 21.
  • Over 53% of kids in foster care only know a life of neglect.

That’s why the Move-In Day Mafia supports students from their first day in college all the way through their graduation. They want to make sure that these students have friends to lean on and a place to call home.

Anyone who wants to help support the mission of this organization can do so by donating funds or volunteering. There’s more information about both of those options on the Move-In Day Mafia website.


Move-In Day Mafia is an organization that helps eligible former foster kids, homeless and low income students get established at HBCUs. In addition to a shopping spree and dorm room makeover, this organization also provides ongoing support, care packages, and even attends your graduation to ensure that you never feel alone while you pursue your dreams.

Nicole is the owner and lead researcher for Low Income Relief. She has over 20 years of professional research and writing experience, and she has been solely dedicated to investigating low income topics for the last 10 years. Nicole started Low Income Relief after a personal experience with poverty. When her husband was medically discharged from the US Army, their family experienced tremendous financial hardship. Nicole was able to gather help from multiple community agencies and move into a nearby low income housing unit in just two weeks! Since then, Nicole has been dedicated to helping low income families in crisis. She regularly spends hundreds of hours combing through countless resources to make sure that Low Income Relief has the most comprehensive and complete resource directories on the internet today. Prior to starting Low Income Relief, Nicole worked as a novelist, journalist, ghostwriter and content creator. Her work has been featured in various print and online publications, including USA Today, The Daily Herald, The Chronicle and more. Her work has also been featured by Google for Publishers and other leading industry publications.