Afrikan Student Union 45th Annual High School Conference Inspires


Staff Writer
Photos by Voice & Viewpoint

On Friday, November 1, 2019, The Afrikan Student Union at San Diego State University hosted close to 900 students and over 30 San Diego County schools at its day-long 45th Annual Afrikan Student Union High School Conference, designed to introduce San Diego County students to the many benefits and opportunities of the college experience. Montezuma Hall at the The Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union was abuzz with the energy, laughter, and rapt attention that only a crowd of young people eager to be uplifted can create. Open to students, counselors, teachers and parents, by all accounts the day was a big success, with student attendance up compared to previous years.

The conference theme was “The Light Within: Living In Truth” and featured speakers Rahiel Tesfamarian, Dr. Chandra Gill, and Kavaris Sims. It was a well organized and richly educational event for attendees, down to the last detail, including making sure all student attendees were well fed, safe, and engaged the entire day. 

“It was really good. I learned a lot about college and so many other things,” one high schooler commented with a broad smile. The students in attendance were clearly having a meaningful, yet fun experience, complete with lively youth performances during the afternoon break. 

Over twenty free workshops were on offer, ranging from financial aid, scholarships, EOP (Educational Opportunity), campus ministry options, time management, self-care, parent workshops, a campus tour and more. 

The teachers in attendance, by all accounts, were enthusiastic, too. “It’s great for them to see other high school students and to get real exposure to the college experience and all it has to offer,” one Verbum Dei High School teacher said.

“The keynote speaker hit the nail on the head. She was really really good,” said a teacher from Scripps Ranch High School.  He was referring to Tesfamarian, who is a Stanford and Yale University graduate and is considered to be a leading generational voice. Dr. Chandra Gill, also featured, is a sought after educational consultant and founder of the motivational curriculum supplement company, Blackademically Speaking. Kavaris Sims is an Assistant Dean of Student Affairs at the HBCU, Langston University. 

With the wealth of information and care given to the conference, students surely left that day with many tools in their toolbox to confidently prepare for college and career.