17th annual HBCU college fair draws thousands of students aiming for higher education

17th annual HBCU college fair draws thousands of students aiming for higher education
HBCU College Fair (Source: WOIO)

WARRENSVILLE HEIGHTS, Ohio (WOIO) - High school students from around the Cleveland area gathered at Warrensville Heights High School for this year’s edition of the HBCU college fair.

Anthony Brown, one of the organizers of the fair, said his goal is to give African American students hope and encouragement as they aim for a college degree. He compares his care for young students as caring for a lump of coal.

“If you take care of it long enough, it’s going to do one of two things: either crack or turn into diamonds,” he said. “We’re jewelers, we’re making diamonds.”

In order to reach their goal increase college enrollment in under-represented populations, dozens of HBCUs from across the country gathered to leave a good impression on students.

Cynthia Warrick, President of Stillman College from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, said events like this one remind African American students of their possibilities for a successful career.

“We develop the leaders in the African American Community,” she said. “We create the opportunities, the doctors, the lawyers the pharmacists the educators, the deans, the college presidents.”

The fair also featured alternative career organizations, as well as predominantly Black fraternities and sororities, such as Alpha Kappa Alpha and Omega. Seniors such as Teresa Calvin felt inspired as she was surrounded by so many successful professionals.

“So many alumni, so many people that have done so many things, and big names that come from these colleges,” she said. “To see them all on the other side of the table...hopefully that’s me one day sitting on that side speaking to others about being an [alumnus].”

Before the fair started, an opening ceremony featured several youth acts, including dance groups and marching bands. However, Brown still had the opportunity to share his message with both students and parents.

“If you can change your environment, you can change your future,” he said.

Today’s college fair was part of several events organized throughout the week, including a fair yesterday at Cuyahoga Community College’s Metro Campus.

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