UF hosts minority recruitment fair


Published: Thursday, January 26, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 25, 2006 at 2:00 p.m.
Students and parents came from all parts of Florida and some areas of Georgia to attend the 10th annual African-American Student Recruitment Conference held Saturday in the Grand Ballroom of the Reitz Union on the University of Florida campus.
Among the students were seventh through 11th-graders, who were divided up into their specific grades and then whisked off for conference registration and a 20- to 30-minute tour around campus.
The division of outreach and community development in the Office of Admissions conducted the program, which recruits African-American students to UF.
Mike Powell, associate director of the division, and Dacia Bowra, admissions coordinator/program director, oversaw the event.
His main goals was for the students to know how to get to college, which is more about empowering than recruiting, Powell said.
"I expect to educate parents on helping their kids get to college," he added.
Because of the large crowd of several hundred, a number of members of Minority Ambassadors (MINAMBA), a volunteer group of scholarship recipients, provided directions for parents.
UF student panelists for each school grade were available to answer conference participants' questions, which ranged from "How are the dorms?" to "How large are the classes?" One student was just excited about being in the college atmosphere.
"I liked the good information, and the open arms," said Adrian Lumpkins, an eighth-grader at A.L. Mebane Middle School in Alachua who wants to major in business one day.
Amber Nelson, a freshman at Vanguard High School in Ocala, said the most interesting part for her was talking to student panelists about their majors. A variety of organizations such as the National Association of Black Engineers and the Association of Black Communicators also were on hand to provide information. Other UF programs designed to increase the number of minority students at UF include the Hispanic-Latino Student Recruitment Conference and UF Shadow Days, which gives high school seniors a chance to be a college student for a day, Powell said.

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