Last Saturday, the Afrikan Student Union at San Diego State hosted its 37th Annual High School Conference. The theme of the conference was “Education is the passport to our future.” More than 150 students from San Diego and Los Angeles-area high schools participated in the all-day event, which kicked off in the Aztec Recreation Center.
The purpose of the event was to provide underrepresented and underprivileged students with information about the college admission process and an opportunity to interact with current SDSU students. ASU President Channelle McNutt said this interaction is important when trying to connect with high school students.
“There’s a huge difference between hearing this information from a counselor or a teacher that’s a lot older than you are, verses college students who have just made the transition themselves or already have a few years of experience under their belt,” McNutt said.
The day began with presentations from the Office of Educational Opportunity Programs and Ethnic Affairs and admissions officers, detailing requirements and services offered by SDSU to make the transition to college easier. Students then enjoyed performances from the K.O. hip-hop dance team, Phi Beta Sigma and Kappa Alpha Psi fraternities, as well as a spoken-word poem from SDSU student E.J. Walls.
Keynote speaker Frank Robinson, public affairs manager at Union Bank, spoke to students about the importance of accountability and hard work in all aspects of life. The event culminated with breakout sessions hosted by SDSU students and community volunteers, and a talent show in which students had the opportunity to perform for their peers. High school senior Drey Daniel shared his thoughts about the conference.
“Today was very empowering,” Daniel said. “It inspired me to do better in school and reminded me that anybody can overcome their background to get where they want to be.”