Portland's 26th annual Black Colleges Conference will be held from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19, at Portland Community College, 705 N. Killingsworth St. The theme of the conference — aimed at high school and middle school students from Oregon and Washington — is "Black Colleges: Believe in Them, Achieve in Them!"
Alumni and representatives will inform students of opportunities available at Historically Black Colleges and Universities — HBCUs — including Howard University, Grambling University, Tuskegee University, Clark-Atlanta, Prairie View, North Carolina A&T, Morehouse College, Fisk University, Spelman, Jackson State, Tennessee State, Florida A&M and Houston-Tillotson.
The Thurston Group of Washington State will provide materials and applications from the 36 United Negro College Fund schools. Seniors who would like to receive onsite application fee waivers to the UNCF schools must bring a copy of their junior year transcripts and a 500-word essay describing their accomplishments, college goals and career aspirations. Students will have an opportunity to interact with successful local professionals from Oregon who graduated from HBCUs, who will share their experiences of attending HBCUs and returning to Oregon.
Students will attend workshops on the college application process, financial aid and how to prepare a college portfolio followed by college spotlight sessions. Parents will attend a special session with representatives from the colleges and are invited to participate in the college spotlight sessions with students.
Algie Gatewood, executive dean of Portland Community College Cascade Campus and an alumnus of Livingstone College, an historically Black college, will welcome students. Students will receive information on how the community college can be a pathway to Black colleges.
Students should check with their school counseling office for registration forms, or call 503-275-9603 for more information.