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The Black College Expo promotes the importance of attending HBCUs

Photos by Jason Lewis


High school students will pack the Los Angeles Convention Center for the expo on February 10.

Howard University is one of many Black colleges that will be on hand at the Black College Expo.

By Megan Reed

High school students will be able to meet with representatives from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), as well as representatives from local schools at the Black College Expo on February 10 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.  Students are encouraged to bring their transcripts and SAT/ACT scores, as they will be able to apply for the various colleges on the spot.  Some of the universities will be accepting students that day.

This event features a number of seminars about the importance of attending HBCUs, financial aid, and transferring from community colleges, as well as seminars related to other career fields.

Many local community service organizations will be on hand with high school students that they mentor.

Last year, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Mu Lambda Omega Chapter (Culver City), brought the girls from their ASCEND program.

“Every ASCEND student is paired with a mentor who helps them prepare for college,” Dr. Jeshana Johnson said. “Each mentor helps their mentee with getting their transcripts, writing their letters of recommendation, and getting them into the right classes.  Research shows that high school counselors do not prepare Black students for the road to universities.  So we want to make sure that the students know this information.”

The group meets monthly. For more information about joining the ASCEND program, visit www.akamlo.org.

Another local chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Theta Mu Omega (Inglewood), also brought girls from their ASCEND program.

“We want students to be aware of attending college, and the variety of colleges that are out there,” Dr. Tangelia Alfred said. “The more we expose them to this, and the earlier, the more likely they are to attend a college.

“We try to reach out to those students who probably don’t hear that much about college.  Their parents may not have attended college.  So we want those kids to hear about it and to know about it.  Then they start talking that college lingo.  Once they learn it, they’re more familiar with it, they start asking more questions, and they become more engaged.”

For more information about joining the ASCEND program, visit www.aka-tmo.com.

Dorsey High School’s Young Black Men’s Group attended the event last year.

“We are a group attempting to eliminate the stereotypes of young Black men,” said Darryl McKellar, a teacher at Dorsey.  “We wanted to get them some exposure to what’s out there.  Not just colleges, but further career choices.  And we’re getting them to improve their communication skills.  They have to learn how to talk to people so that they can become better, and help their communities become better.”

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Beta Psi Lambda Chapter (Los Angeles), brings their Alpha Esquire mentoring group.

“The Black College Expo provided the Esquires the opportunity to interact and engage with numerous educated African Americans,” DeShon Andrews said.  “It was an event that debunked mainstream ideologies that athletics and rapping are their only pathways to success.”

The Alpha Esquire’s meet twice a month. For information about joining, visit www.alphaesquires.com.

The Black College Expo will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., with an after party show from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.  Tickets are $8 online, and $10 at the door.  For more information call (877) 427-4100 or visit www.blackcollegeexpo.com.  Also find them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. 

www.joinlapd.com    www.joinlafd.org