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Historically Black colleges and universities seek San Diego students

The sixth annual Black College Expo in Southeast San Diego was attended by almost 3,000 high school students from across the county, Thursday.

The event is sponsored by the San Diego County Office of Education and the National College Resources Foundation. Both are committed to supporting students from marginalized communities and breaking the cycle of poverty.

The student attendees included Kaylie Thaxton-Barney, 17, a senior at San Pasqual High School in Escondido.


"I’m going to study radiology and I’m hoping to become a traveling MRI technician," she told KPBS News.

Thaxton-Barney considered several historically Black colleges and universities at the Expo. They included Texas Southern University in Houston, Harris Stowe State in St. Louis, and the Virginia University of Lynchburg.

Many students were accepted on the spot and even awarded scholarships with qualifying transcripts.

Theresa Price is the founder of the National College Resources Foundation and organized Thursday's Expo. She said it is designed for the entire community.

“Yes, it’s for students 11th and 12th graders can get accepted on the spot, college transfer students can get accepted on the spot, but it’s also an opportunity for adult learners to find out what’s available for them to elevate their game," Price said.

M.G. Perez
Admissions counselor Jennifer Rhodes helps Aaliyah Bonner, 17, with application information for Texas Southern University which is a historically Black College or University in Houston, San Diego, Calif., January 26, 2023.

Attending an HBCU close to home is especially challenging for California students. Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science in Los Angeles is the only one in the state of California.

“I’ll go anywhere. I’m not scared of any limitations. I think it’s worth it to take a risk," said Princess Galvan, 17.

She is open to any university that will support her long-term dream of becoming a psychologist to help her community.

“I am mixed. I am African American and Mexican. There’s not a lot of representation for Afro-Latinas. So, I want to be around where there is more representation.”