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HBCU alumni host symposium for WMHS students

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HBCU alumni host symposium for WMHS students

Clark Atlanta University alumni William Burnette speaks about his experiences attending an HBCU

Clark Atlanta University alumni William Burnette speaks about his experiences attending an HBCU

Jade Pinkowitz

Clark Atlanta University alumni William Burnette speaks about his experiences attending an HBCU

Jade Pinkowitz

Jade Pinkowitz

Clark Atlanta University alumni William Burnette speaks about his experiences attending an HBCU

Nana Osei Tutu, Editor-in-Chief

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On Thursday October 4, juniors and seniors gathered in the auditorium for an HBCU symposium. Alumni from five different colleges and universities answered frequently asked questions and cleared up misconceptions about HBCUs.

HBCU stands for Historically Black Colleges and Universities. They were created to help African American students obtain a higher education because they could not get into predominantly white institutions (PWI), especially following the end of slavery. There are currently 101 HBCUs in the United States.

The symposium was hosted by math teacher Sarah Bailey and poms coach Theresa Phillips. The two introduced the program by explaining their thoughts on the importance of attending an HBCU.

Alumni from Morehouse College, Howard University, Johnson C. Smith University, North Carolina Central University, Spelman College and many more attended the panel discussion.

Students were able to hear why attending an HBCU was important to the panelists and the different challenges they sometimes experience because they attended an HBCU. “Because I have Clark Atlanta University on my degree, I have to basically do more work [and] be better to prove that I belong in the room,” CAU alumni William Burnette said.  

The panel strongly urged students to make decisions about college for themselves, especially because it is affecting their futures. They encouraged students to attend an HCBU despite the misconceptions. “You can’t let those who have not gone to an HBCU tell you about an HBCU,” Spelman alumna Neah Evering said.

“The connections and networking doesn’t just start when you graduate,” Bailey said. Going to an HBCU helps many graduates get jobs after graduating. Bailey talked about the Atlanta University Center (which consists of CAU, Morehouse, and Spelman College) and the career fair they host with about 200 companies. “They’re looking for those minorities to take into their companies and make it diverse,” Bailey added.

At the end of the first session, the panelist had one minute to “sell” their schools to students. Each alumni was proud of the school they attended.

“Spelman College gave me so many reasons to find my confidence,” Evering said. For most of the alumni, going to an HBCU gave them things that they could not have gotten from a PWI.

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About the Writer
Nana Osei Tutu, Editor-in-Chief

Nana Osei Tutu is a Senior at Watkins Mill and is one of the Co-Editor In Chiefs of The Current. She is involved in many programs at the mill as well ...

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