HBCU college fair to be held Feb. 17


Alicia Hensley

Black Student Union sponsor Alicia Hensley, juniors Analjah Ratliff and Sarah Dawson, senior Xavier Champ, AVID teacher Erica Randle and seniors Leah Dean and Emily Olive pose in front of an HBCU college fair poster. They all wore college t-shirts and hoodies for college day dress up day on Feb. 15.

Sixty students in all four grade-levels will attend the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) fair at Lewisville High School on Feb. 17. The fair includes breakout sessions, opportunities to apply to colleges and chances to talk with LISD alumni who attended HBCUs. 

“I’m super excited,” BSU sponsor Alicia Hensley said. “The first year that I attended, it was virtual because of COVID. This last year, it was held at Marcus High School, and Hebron had a chance to not only bring the step team, but we had some students with AVID that also attended. And then this year, it’ll be at Lewisville High School, and I imagine it’s going to have the same format, and [provide] good opportunities for students.”

This is the fifth year this event has taken place, as well as the fourth in-person year. There are some schools that will be doing college admissions presentations on site and awarding scholarships.

“Representation matters,” senior BSU and AVID member Leah Dean said. “It helps [bring the spotlight to] all the colleges that are out there. I feel like we [only] know about main [bigger colleges], like state colleges, [but] there are a lot more colleges [out there], like HBCUs to look at.”

Students from Hebron, Marcus, Flower Mound, The Colony and Lewisville High Schools will be attending the event.

“I’m most excited for all of our high school students to come together in LISD,” Hensley said. “As a student, you go day-to-day and you see your same friends that are here at Hebron. But there’s so many other students out there, and there may be students [they] went to elementary or middle school with. I’m excited for the students to interact with each other.”

There will be representatives from more than 20 HBCUs at the college fair, as well as various organizations. The event has four sessions where students can go to designated rooms to listen to a presentation from one of the HBCUs.

“This is my first time going to the event,” BSU member Brayden Gillespie said. “[I’m excited to start] building relationships with some of the colleges and start to see where I could go [after I graduate]. I feel like it’s a great opportunity because it’s helping us get to college and explore our options.”

There are 107 total HBCUs in the United States as of now, and nine in Texas.

“I didn’t realize the number of HBCUs that there are in the country,” Hensley said. “I’m from a small town in Louisiana, and I only knew about two [HBCUs], which were Southern University and Grambling University. Just [exposing HBCUs to] high school students [so they] know what’s out there [is important]. [Events like these are] necessary to show students all their options.”