This December, NIA hosted the 3rd Annual College Night for youth and community members. Gerina Davis, the Youth and Community Clinician, took lead on the event, inviting more than 12 college and university representatives to table and present. The goal of the event was to expose youth to the culture, comradery and experience of Historical Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU’s) as well as options if youth decided to stay in state (CUNY’s, SUNY’s, private institutions) or were looking for an alternative learning experience.

The evening was filled with business professionals that were either representing their alma maters, providing financial and college readiness support, sharing about their sororities/fraternities or representing all the above. One of the tablers/panelists was also an alum of NIA youth herself and spoke about her experience as a first-year student at CUNY.

The College Night provided space for the tablers and panelists to share why they chose the schools they did, and to speak about what programs or initiatives assisted them with acclimating to the school’s culture as students of color, if they did not attend an HBCU. After the question and answer portion, there was a presentation from the members of the Pan- Hellenic council, lovingly called the Divine Nine. Two ladies from Zeta Phi Beta performed a stroll/step for the youth to get a taste of what the yard sometimes looks like. The event ended with youth having the opportunity to converse with the tablers about college, FAFSA, or advice on their personal statement essays.

Overall, the College Fair was a success. Young people in attendance were given a chance to learn from one another and the guest speakers and to make connections that will provide them with more possibilities and opportunities for their future!