By Mylin Batipps
Students from almost a hundred high schools in New Jersey accepted scholarships and were admitted on-site to institutions during the Iota Gamma Chapter of Omega Psi Phi fraternity’s 10th annual Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Fair.
Representatives from 40 different historically black institutions attended the fair, which was held on Sunday, Nov. 16, in the Brower Student Center. The College’s Iota Gamma Chapter partnered with several organizations to plan the fair, including the New Jersey Department of Education, Wells Fargo and PNC.
“Over 500 students benefitted from the fair,” said Edward Bannister-Holmes, communications studies major and president of the Iota Gamma Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. Admissions were determined by the students’ transcripts and test scores they brought to the fair.
For 10 years, the College’s chapter incorporated two of its four cardinal principles to the planning and implementation of the HBCU Fair: “Scholarship” and “Uplift.” The Iota Gamma Chapter has aimed to spread advocacy for education, in addition to helping students achieve education by presenting opportunities for aid and admission.
Virginia State University awarded $112,000, $40,000 and $20,000 scholarships to high school students during the fair, according to Angela Diggs, senior counselor of recruiting for the university. Representatives of the university also admitted some students on-site.
“We really just wanted to spread the word about what we have to offer from each individual institution,” Diggs said.
Jaré Amolé, a representative from Tuskegee University in Alabama, said that the College is just one of many colleges and universities that he and representatives of different institutions attend.
“We travel between New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania,” Amolé said. We recruit about a little over 15,000 students to attend historically black colleges and universities from all over the country. It’s a great opportunity for kids to get a look at schools that they may never have the opportunity to go to or may have no interest or even knowing about.”
Parents accompanied the students to the fair and benefitted almost equally from the experience, according to Bannister-Holmes.
“It was such an honor to hear pleased parents talk about how much they’ve learned about the college entry process, hear students discuss which colleges and universities that are their top choices, and hear recruiters happily educating so many people about their schools,” he said.
After around a million dollars being awarded to students, one could say the 10th annual HBCU fair was a success. The Omega Psi Phi looks to continue the tradition for as long as it can.
“At the end of the day, we just want to give students and parents valuable learning tools that are crucial for scholars seeking post-secondary education,” Bannister-Holmes said. “We are greatly looking forward to next year.”