On March 2, 2013 the Alfred Street Baptist Church hosted its 11th annual Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) festival at T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Virginia. The fair was founded by Ms. Vance Davis with the support of the late Reverend Dr. Julian O. Peterson, who himself had strong ties to Virginia Union University.
The annual event was planned and hosted by a diverse team of over 200 volunteers. The goal of the festival was to not only expose students to HBCUs, but also to expose them to scholarship opportunities and other vendors who were potentially useful to prospective students. Student attendees numbered in the thousands. Also at the festival was Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. which registered 100 people to vote.
In addition to giving students the opportunity to talk with representatives and recruiters from the various HBCUs, the festival featured a workshop series. Workshop topics included: The White House Internship Program, Black College Sports, Timely Tips for Parents, Your “GPS” to Success, STEM, Show Me the Money and several others.
Over 70 recruiters were present from 60 HBCUs. Among the schools represented were Grambling State University, Howard University, Hampton University, Johnson C. Smith University, Virginia State University, and Lincoln University to name a few.
Almost 1900 students were interviewed and over 500 received on-site admission. Registration fees valued at over $28,000 were waived for over 560 students. Scholarships were awarded to 24 students valued at over $143,000. An additional $300,000 in scholarship awards is pending receipt of transcripts.
When asked if the event was a success and had achieved its intended goal, the chairman of the festival, Ryan Akins, stated, “Yes, it was a success, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the contributions of our many committee members and volunteers who helped put it together and facilitate the event.”