Lynwood, Calif. – Lynwood Unified School District came prepared to the Black College Expo, held Jan. 31 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, with four students walking away with more than $10,000 in scholarships. This followed a “Mini” College Expo held on the Lynwood High campus the previous Thursday, when 30 students from LUSD’s high schools were conditionally accepted into a number of participating colleges.
“This is an extraordinary achievement,” said Maria G. Lopez, LUSD Board of Education President. “Our goal is to provide a pathway to success to enable all students to meet the challenges that lay ahead. These are just the type of support programs that help us meet our mission.”
The Black College Expo is coordinated by the National College Resources Foundation, an organization dedicated to connecting students to colleges and careers. The Expo unites 100 national colleges and universities under one roof and offers an assortment of resources for college-bound students: information on scholarships, financial aid and student-athlete assistance, along with educational seminars and roundtable discussions.
Qualifying students can be accepted for admission on the spot and even be awarded full scholarships, based on their official transcripts and SAT/ACT scores. During the event, Lynwood Unified students Alaija Moore, Dwitt Lewis, Marvell Cruthers and Kaniesha Johnson all departed the Expo with their higher education futures assured.
“I am so overjoyed to see students go after it and want to be successful,” said Theresa Price, founder of the Black College Expo. “These students stated they never thought they would be able to go to college. It is so exciting.”
Under Price’s guidance, the Black College Expo is now in its 16th year in Los Angeles. Price started the Expo as a way to increase degree enrollment among underserved and underrepresented youth. The Expo has proven so popular that it has branched out nationally, boosted in part by the participation of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), such as Tuskegee University in Alabama, and their willingness to sign up students on the spot.
The National College Resources Foundation works with Lynwood Unified throughout the year to mentor students and prepare them to confer with recruiters, negotiate financial aid forms and motivate them to consult with their career counselors about all of the options available in higher education. When several of the HBCU reps arrived in Los Angeles a few days before the Expo, a “Mini” Black College Expo was held at Lynwood High, where LUSD students had a chance to talk to the school reps exclusively. It was a tremendous success.
“When people work together there is no limit to what they can accomplish,” said LUSD Superintendent Paul Gothold. “We applaud our educators and partners and congratulate our students for a job well done. It is truly a team effort.”