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HBCU College Fair Brings Opportunities Through Connection

Sixth annual event brought students, HBCUs and community partners together to explore educational excellence.

Lewisville ISD recently hosted its sixth annual Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) College Fair at Hebron High School. The fair was attended by 500 high school students from across the district and gave students the opportunity to connect with these historic institutions. Representatives and alumni from over a dozen HBCUs took part in the event, showcasing their schools via booths, presentations and open discussion. Community partners, student life organizations and the Lewisville Education Foundation also took part in the event.

Presenting partners of this year’s event included Credit Union of Texas and Nebraska Furniture Mart. Credit Union of Texas also provided food for attending students.

The HBCU Fair was hosted at Hebron High School for the first time in the event’s history. Students representing all five LISD high schools were bussed to Hebron to participate. The HBCU Fair committee, led by LISD Coordinator of Student Engagement & Diversity Alexis Miller, consists of representatives from each of the district’s high schools.

Miller is proud to have seen student response to the college fair grow over the years.

“‘Joy’ is the word that keeps coming to mind when I think about this year’s event. Our district’s HBCU College Fair is an anticipated event year after year. Cultivating a positive environment where students could learn while feeling connected was a main goal of our committee.”

Upon arrival, attendees were able to connect with various student life and community organizations present for the event, each offering valuable resources and information relevant for students looking to continue their educational career by attending a college or university.

The 2024 HBCU Fair opened with a welcome by Mr. Clark Atlanta University TeJordan Carter, performances by the Hebron and Marcus High School step teams and an HBCU alumni panel moderated by LISD General Counsel D’Ann Bey. The panel featured several HBCU graduates, many of whom are also LISD alumni, including Donovan Brittain, Ashley Johnson, Cameron Dockery, Dawn Bey and Matthew Morris.

Following the panel discussion, students had the opportunity to visit with attending HBCU partners to learn more about their institutions. During three rotation periods, students could choose to connect with any of the HBCUs in attendance.

For some students, such as Micah from Flower Mound High School, learning about the significance of HBCUs has paved a pathway to exploring them as options after graduation. 

“Before this event, I didn’t know much about HBCUs or schools that honor Black history,” he said. “Now I know a lot more about them and about the experiences that students have at these schools and how many scholarships that they offer. Someone mentioned that one of the schools here offers over 400 scholarships – that’s amazing!”

Others, like Hebron senior Maddie, come from a long line of proud HBCU alums.

“I come from a family of HBCU graduates, so it’s in my bloodline to be an HBCU graduate myself,” she expressed. “I love the spirit and all of the connection that HBCUs bring. I’m looking at going to Grambling because it’s close to my family in Louisiana and it’s familiar territory and feels like home to me.”

Many students were grateful for the opportunity to explore HBCUs through this event, and learn more about schools that often stay under the radar for most.

“You have to put yourself out there,” said LHS Killough student Rachel, speaking on the importance of events such as the HBCU fair. “Not everything is going to come to you, so you have to work to learn more about colleges, classes and everyone else around you. This event is something that gives you an opportunity to explore those things.”

Maddie agreed, emphasizing the importance of exploring all available opportunities after graduation.

“It makes you feel included. It makes you feel like [LISD] is paying attention to all of the options, and it’s a great way to bring the whole district together.”

“Providing our students with this annual experience is a powerful demonstration of appreciating the rich history and legacy of HBCUs,” concluded Miller. “Our students expressed strong interest in this learning opportunity, and there are not enough words to accurately describe the community that helped make it a reality.”

Lewisville ISD would once again like to thank all of the university and community partners that attended the 2024 HBCU Fair, as well as the individual supporters that helped make this event possible.