10HBCUAs an elementary school principal, I stress to my students every day during the morning announcements the importance of attending college and my expectation that they at least obtain a bachelor’s degree. It is imperative they have the mindset that education is the key to their success and that they understand the importance of becoming lifelong learners. John Wesley United Methodist Men and the Fayetteville Cumberland Parks and Recreation Department present the 2nd annual Historically Black Colleges and Universities College Fair Saturday, March 3, from 10 a.m.–3 p.m. at Smith Recreation Center.

“We are having an HBCU college fair where we are having over 60 HBCU college representatives come to our city from all across the country,” said Mark Yarboro, team lead of the HBCU College Fair. “The idea is to have our college representatives come and talk to our kids about the opportunities of attending an HBCU.”

Yarboro added the unique thing about the college fair is that service organizations will attend, and they will share scholarship opportunities information with students and their parents. Students do not have to attend an HBCU in order to apply for the scholarships.

“We have service organizations such as the Divine 9, fraternities, sororities and PWC that will be present at the fair,” said Yarboro. “Each fraternity and sorority has a scholarship, and most of the scholarships are very similar ... the young person has to complete an application (and) provide references, an essay and their grade point average.”

Several seminars will be presented at the college fair. “One gentleman will discuss what’s next and what to look for once you go off to college and the types of things to be aware of,” said Yarboro. “There will be a seminar on financial aid referencing the different programs, available forms and when to begin the application process.” Yarboro added the NAACP will be there to discuss the importance of voting.

Entertainment will be provided during the lunch hour. “Rocky Barnett from E. E. Smith will have her creative dance group perform,” said Yarboro. “Lunch will be provided for the young people that register.”

“We are hopeful that we can inform and inspire our young people to apply for the scholarship money,” said Yarboro. “Our ultimate goal is to reach as many youth as we can to let them know that there are wonderful opportunities in attending an HBCU.”

Email Yarboro.mark@yahoo.com for more information.

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