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 Students Connect with Opportunities at Black College Expo

Hundreds of students had a chance to connect with historically black colleges last month at the Black College Expo, which was co-sponsored by the San Diego County Office of Education and the San Diego Unified School District.

"I am still just filled with joy and excitement about how great all the college reps and guest speakers were," said Jessica Codallos, a counselor at Monarch School. "We took three vans full of students and they all had the most encouraging things to say to each other about college on the drive back."

One of the students, Jasmine, a senior at Monarch School, was accepted to seven colleges. Jasmine said she is very excited about moving away from San Diego for a few years and getting a fresh start. She said she was especially looking forward to having professors who are African-American and learning more about black history and culture.

Another student, Deshawna, who also goes to Monarch School, said she is excited about the prospect of going to a historically black college.

"It's all about the community and having a feeling of family," she said.

Representatives from 26 historically black colleges and universities were at the expo to consult with San Diego students about their higher-education options. The event was organized by the National College Resources Foundation and included opportunities for on-the-spot college admissions and scholarships.

"Our whole mission is to make sure kids are prepared for the next stage of life after leaving our schools," said Dr. Paul Gothold, county superintendent of schools. "That includes making sure they're exposed to a multitude of options for college. The Black College Expo is a unique opportunity for us to connect students with colleges and universities that could unlock their future success."

The Black College Expo was developed nearly 20 years ago to help empower underrepresented students, demystify the college admissions process, and promote equal access to higher education by providing positive guidance and pathways. The event seeks to educate all students about historically black colleges and universities.