The Iota Pi Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and Pi Delta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. partnered with Homestead Senior High School to host the school’s first Historically Black College and University (HBCU) Fair.

The objective of the Feb. 20 event was to expose Homestead students to the vast academic and athletic opportunities offered by institutions created to meet the higher education demands of African Americans, prior to the Civil Rights Act.

For a century following the abolishment of slavery in United States (in 1865), African Americans in the southern states were denied admission to postsecondary institutions for their education.

Similarly, several universities across the country adopted quota policies which restricted the enrollment number of Blacks to their institutions.

Thus, colleges and universities created for students of African descent were founded to educate subsequent generations of black intellectuals and professionals of color.

Currently, there are more than 100 HBCUs across the continental U.S. and Caribbean islands between the private and public sectors of education.

The college fair featured on-site admission and scholarship opportunities for qualified students to attend some of our nation’s top HBCUs.

Attendees received a Passport for Success which contained suggested questions for college admission officers, answered general questions on securing financial aid, and provide a comprehensive list of participating schools.

Students who visited all the suggested stops to college admission were eligible to participate in raffles for cash prizes, gift cards to local attractions, or college survival guide publication.

By the fair’s completion, the sponsors were able to serve 1,000 students and award 60 college acceptance letters with scholarship offers.

The HBCU partners in attendance to ensure the fair’s success included Howard University, Philander Smith College, Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University, Shaw University, North Carolina Central University, Florida Memorial University, Morehouse College, Grambling State University, and Tennessee State University.

Providing collateral materials to support the activity were Tougaloo College, Fort Valley State University, Albany State University, Savannah State University, Hampton University, University of Maryland- Eastern Shore, Benedict College, Fayetteville State University, North Carolina A&T University, Alabama State University and Talladega College.

The program helped to initiate a newly forged agreement between Homestead High School and its 30 HBCU Partners to recruit students from the area and offer them sufficient support and financial resources to attend their respective universities.