Alexandria, VA – Howard University students positively represented the Mecca on February 20 at the 15th annual HBCU College Festival hosted by Alfred Street Baptist Church at T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Virginia. Members of the Bison Pre-Alumni Club collaborated with the Howard University Alumni Club of Greater Washington D.C. to encourage high school students to consider Howard as a college choice.
Howard University was one of 65 Historically Black Colleges and Universities at the festival. Current Howard students promoted the University by providing information about admissions and sharing their own personal experiences as Bison. The HUAC of Greater Washington D.C. contacted the Bison Pre-Alumni Club to recruit students to help them achieve their goal of capturing the attention of prospective students.
Marsha Moore, chairperson of the Student Support Recruitment Committee for the HUAC of Greater Washington D.C., wanted to give current Howard students the opportunity to serve their school and positively influence high school students. “It’s one thing for alum to talk about Howard, but it’s more impactful for current students to talk to high schoolers due to the age compatibility,” she said. “The student voice carries a lot of weight.”
The Bison Pre-Alumni Club is a new organization that encourages student philanthropy and creates connections between current Howard students and alumni. The club strives to embody Howard University’s values of truth and service.
Austin Henderson, treasurer of the Bison Pre-Alumni Club, was one of several students who attended the festival. “I felt the HBCU fair was not only a positive experience for the high school students, but myself as well,” he said. “It made me feel great seeing all those high school students taking initiatives in regard to their futures.”
Margaux Powell, who serves as Vice President of Operations of the Bison Pre-Alumni Club, is passionate about encouraging current Bison to make a significant impact during their tenure at Howard. “As the Bison Pre-Alumni Club places a heavy emphasis on highlighting what it means to truly be a Bison, we recognize that we must use this good fortune to organize forces and partnerships among ourselves that will enact positivity throughout the environment that most of us only inhabit for our short time at Howard,” she said.
Although some people question the relevance of HBCUs in today’s society, the success of the HBCU festival showed that HBCU’s still matter. “HBCUs allow students to be in a setting where their work will be encouraged by individuals who think and look like them,” said Henderson. “It gives me tremendous hope to see so many bright, young minds recognize the importance [college] can have on their futures.”