East Chapel Hill High School Hosts HBCU Fair
The gym at East Chapel Hill High School transformed into a banner and pennant-filled college fair on Friday afternoon, January 25. The highlighted schools were Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), and more than 200 students from local high schools browsed, mingled and even filled out applications on the spot. Elizabeth Rogers, exceptional children teaching assistant,has taken on the role of HBCU Fair coordinator for the past three years, a job she clearly relishes. “The HBCU Fair was actually started some time back before I arrived at East Chapel Hill High School, but it was located in a corner of the cafeteria with just information on a few tables and several local colleges represented. I wanted all students to learn about the rich history of the HBCU’s and their academic programs.”
North Carolina has always been a leader in developing and sustaining HBCU’s. Of the 101 institutions in the country, North Carolina has 10, including Shaw University, the oldest in the South (1865). Many HBCU’s offer broad and innovative undergraduate programs, as well as master’s, law and doctoral programs. Numerous graduates of Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools attend HBCU’s, and the popularity among students has grown in recent years.
Students from the CHCCS high schools were joined by students from Orange High and Jordan High School. The display tables covered much of the gym floor, and representatives from HBCU’s spoke with passion and energy about their schools; North Carolina schools Elizabeth State University, Fayetteville State University, Winston-Salem State University and others were set up alongside well-known East Coast institutions such as Spelman College, Morgan State University and Florida A&M. Many tables were decorated with pom poms, brochures, and “swag.” Some colleges offered on-site admissions with free application submissions. Additionally, all branches of the military were represented, as well as the local police and fire departments.
Rogers said, “The highlight of the event was our guest speaker, Malveata Collins, an educator from West Craven High School, and a 2018 inductee to the North Carolina A&T Sports Hall of Fame. She spoke to the students about her selection of colleges and her journey through the process. She was very transparent, and the students asked questions during and after the event. We were so thankful to have her travel from Chocowinity, NC. Also, a special thank you to the Ladies of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority for coming and volunteering their time and energy to the students. The sorority spoke to the students about money management in college, the expectations of professors and Greek Life. We know it takes a whole village, and they completed the village that day.”