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Students receive admission and scholarship offers on the spot at HBCU College Fair!
Posted 2/3/23

HBCU photos

MDUSD's 4rd Annual Historically Black College & University (HBCU) College Fair held at Mt. Diablo High School in Concord on Thursday was a big success! It attracted more than 500 students from all five comprehensive high schools in the District, as well as from the College Now program at Diablo Valley College and Riverview Middle School, said Equity Counselor Adriel Briscoe, who organized the event along with other college and career advisors. The event was a perfect kick-off for Black History Month in the District, he said. "HBCUs are part of our American History, so it's very important for us to expose our students to the different opportunities they have," he said, adding that HBCUs accept students from all races and ethnic backgrounds. 


After handing their transcripts to college recruiters, many students were given acceptances and scholarship offers on the spot. Mt. Diablo HS seniors Jasira Gay, Lauren Williams and Makari Pitts were among several students from different schools who received HBCU acceptances at the fair. Both girls received acceptances and John C. Smith University in North Carolina. scholarship offers to Delaware State UniversityLincoln University in Missouri, Talladega College in Alabama. They said they enjoyed the fair, which included singing and line dancing with the recruiters, showing them some of the fun activities they could participate in at HBCUs. Jasira, who plans to pursue a career as a computer scientist, and Lauren, who plans to become a nurse, said they are both still exploring their options and haven't decided which college to attend. 

Makari was accepted to Florida Memorial University. Makari said he was impressed by the "positive energy" of admissions recruiter Adam Stafford, who posed for a photo with him holding the college's lion mascot banner. "He was very respectful and patient with me," said Makari, an MDHS football player who plans to study business and photography and who would also like to play college football. "I want to be a social media influencer and spread positivity around the world," he said. Stafford said he joined the HBCU Caravan tour to help spread the word about HBCUs to students all over the country. He added that Florida Memorial offers a Business Degree program as well as a photography club, and is building its football program, which is now in its third season. 

Jorge Melgoza, MDUSD's Assistant Director of Equity and Disproportionality, praised Adriel Briscoe's leadership in organizing the fair, saying it came from his "heart" and would not have been possible without him. Adriel said he feels a strong connection to HBCUs because both his father and grandfather graduated from them. He said the fair, which he plans to continue next year, is part of the "systemic change" happening in MDUSD that includes exposing all students to higher education opportunities. He also stressed that systemic change involves everyone in the District working together as a community to support students, including administrators, counselors, college and career advisors, teachers and the custodial staff at MDHS that worked hard to set up for the event.