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Students Shine at Black Student Summit

Students Shine at Black Student Summit

More than 300 middle school students from across the county came together to attend workshops on college preparation, leadership, black empowerment, and more at the 2nd Annual Black Student Summit. 

The event theme was: Our Voice, Our Power, Our Future. The goal of the summit is to promote excellence in education, culture, empowerment, values, and purpose for students, parents, and the community. It addresses the academic achievement of Black students from K-12 and beyond, as well as educates students about the Black diaspora experience through interactive sessions on a variety of topics. 

Tavaris Franklin speaking to students at the Black Student Summit.

Speaker Tavaris Franklin
San Diego College of Continuing Education

Keynote speaker Eugene Hamilton kicked off the summit with some engaging words about advocating for yourself and putting in hard work in order to succeed in school and life. 

“The Black Student Summit is important to our middle school students as we strive to uplift and encourage them to achieve to their full potential,” said Dr. LaShae Sharp-Collins, community engagement specialist for the San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE). “Often we focus on our high school students, and we wanted to start earlier to empower and equip them with resources they need to be successful as they transition to high school and beyond.”

Following Hamilton’s remarks, students broke into groups and rotated through a variety of breakout sessions. Presenters included: Dr. Jamila Dugan, educator, coach, and author; Tinesia Conwright, Fancy Teen Girls; Chris Jones and Tamara Muhammad, Young and Prosperous; Tavaris Franklin, San Diego College of Continuing Education, and Nina Jackson from Los Angeles Unified. 

“I’m looking forward to learning about keynote speaker YoYo and any information about college, so I’m prepared when I graduate high school,” said Aaliya Kirkendoll, a 6th grader at City Tree Christian School.

The event concluded with a session by Yolanda Whitaker, better known as YoYo. The rapper and actress used the core principles of hip hop to help students navigate their own life journey with confidence and authenticity.

The summit was sponsored by the Association of African American Educators, National College Resources Foundation, San Diego Community College District Continuing Education, and SDCOE.


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