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By Henrietta J. Burroughs                                  Follow East Palo Alto Today on
East Palo Alto Today                                   Facebook    Twitter       Blog    
Posted on Wednesday, May 4, 2011  
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Parents stand with their child    Photo of Talala Mshuja
        Photos by Henrietta J. Burroughs
-  Click images to enlarge.

                                  These photos show several of the activities which took place
                                  during the second annual College and Career Tech Fair on
                                  April 30, 2011 at the Onetta Harris Community Center in Menlo Park.

Video showing some of the participants at the fair
Double click image to enlarge or click here.


Over 150 students came out to attend the second annual College and Career Tech Fair this past Saturday. Billed as the “Opportunity of a Lifetime College and Career Fair,” the event presented students, their parents and their guardians an opportunity to obtain information on how to apply to historically Black Colleges/University (HBCU), Hispanic serving institutions, California colleges and universities, private schools, as well as trade and professional institutions.

For Edmund Harris, one of the principal organizers of the fair, the event provided an opportunity to do “one-stop shopping.”

“I know how it is to get the career and college folks out,” Harris said. “ We had people who know how to get into college, people who know the companies that are hiring and people who are able to provide information about college, careers and job opportunities. Students need to weigh them equally to see what’s out there and to follow their passions.”

This year’s fair was held at the Onetta Harris Community Center in Menlo Park, and it featured representatives from a number of colleges ranging from nearby Canada College to UC Riverside and Purdue University. Representatives came from major businesses in the banking and health industries as well as from public service institutions.

Admission to the fair was free to participants, presenters and attendees.  Workshops were provided from 9:00 a.m. until 11:30 p.m.  Students had an opportunity to meet with college and career representatives between 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and entertainment was provided at the end of the event.

Anthony Moffin, a student in JobTrain’s Sassy Program and a volunteer at the fair, said that it was a great opportunity to find out about colleges and get classroom credit at the same time.

Ken Harris, Jr., another student who attended the fair, said that he appreciated the chance the fair gave him to get information about the HCBU’s. To see a video that shows the reactions expressed by several of the fair’s attendees, including Harris, go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwWOfs5lBUk

For Lakiba Pittman, one of the event’s volunteers, the highlight of the fair was seeing  how parents interacted with their children. “I liked seeing parents bring their kids and leave them in the room [to look at different information tables]. I liked seeing parents advocate for their kids and I liked seeing parents and kids together.” Pittman said.

Karen Gantt, who served at the fair’s registration table, is a volunteer representing the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority’s Rho Delta Omega Chapter in Palo Alto. Gantt said, “We’ve had tremendous support for the fair from the community.”

Speaking for her sorority, she said, “We’re honored to support this great cause and we look forward to collaborating again next year.”

In talking about the fair after it was over, Edmund Harris admitted that he was prepared to quit when the fair was over “because of community apathy.” But given the apparent success of this year’s fair, he said, “But I won't now.  I will continue to offer my skills and knowledge to the community whenever and wherever I can.”


To contact Henrietta J. Burroughs, the author of the above article, email epatoday@epatoday.org.


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