This past Saturday the Mitchell Kapor Foundation hosted its second annual Black & Proud to Be College Bound conference. Nearly 100 middle and high school students gathered, listened, and learned about the crossroads of technology and education. They asked about the experiences of black male tech professionals and entrepreneurs. Participants also attended more traditional academic workshops such as writing personal statements, preparing for the SAT/ACT, understanding A-G requirements, and accessing financial aid resources. They were able to engage with instructors in small classroom settings, allowing them to really take advantage of the resources and services being shared.
Eugene Wade, Co-Founder and CEO of New Charter University, an online university that offers accredited degree programs at a minimal cost, served as our keynote speaker. The similarities in social upbringing and cultural identity between Mr. Wade and the students set the stage for a candid conversation in which he expressed how hard work, practice, and being unwilling to accept failure could serve as a conduit to successful outcomes. Mr. Wade’s words were not only inspiring for the students, but also for all in attendance. The day closed with spoken word from Youth Speaks’ artists, raffling of prizes –including touch screen tablets, and students taking to the mic and sharing what they learned. It is something that one would have had to been present to fully appreciate.
Thank you to our conference co-sponsor, the College Access Foundation of California.