*Lance Gross star of Tyler Perry’s “House of Payne” is on the road for UNCF as the host of one of the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization’s Empower Me Tour –making stops across the country including at Dunbar High School in Washington, DC, Saturday, October 25 from 8:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
“I went to Howard University and I know the experience that I had going to an HBCU (Historically Black College or University) and it was a very rich and cultural experience for me,” Gross said.
The 33-year-old NAACP Image Award winner says there’s a new meaning to his smile when he speaks to students because of something happening in his personal life, “I’m an expecting father and I’m super excited. I’m ready to be a good example for her.”
No surprise that the impending birth of his first child is ever present on his mind because “this is like my trial run,” the “Temptation” star explained. “I’m doing this for the other students, but pretty soon I’m gonna be doing it for my own daughter. I’m smiling ear to ear right now.”
His fiancée, Rebeca Jefferson, is set to deliver a girl in November – but Gross wouldn’t divulge when they’re going to tie the knot only saying with a sly laugh, “That is a secret. That is something we are keeping private.”
His hobby of photography went very public when his pictures of a very pregnant, very nude, Kelly Rowland were published in Elle magazine.
He revealed he’d been talking to the ex-Destiny’s Child singer, a good friend for about a year about photographing her but their schedules “conflicted.” When she got pregnant, Gross said, “I was the first one she called.”
It started out he says just for her to use but, “when she saw them she said ‘Oh my God we gotta do something with these.’ So she contacted Elle.”
“I think pregnancy is beautiful and it is something that deserves to be captured,” Gross remarked.
You may be seeing him on the small screen in a new show but he’s doesn’t have much details only saying, “It is something big and it’s new and in development.”
Gross is urging people, particularly those of college age to visit the free, traveling college- and career-readiness road show sponsored by UNCF.
After Dunbar High, the tour will be in Oakland, California, where Gross was born.
Celebrating its seventh year, the UNCF Empower Me Tour was created in partnership with Wells Fargo to prepare students to go to and through college and inspire them to take control of their future by using education as the foundation for achieving their goals and dreams.
Hear more of Tené Croom’s exclusive interview:
By Tené Croom
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