Harper College's upcoming Black Teen Symposium aims to inspire local African-American high school students to pursue higher education and ensure they're ready for it.
The event, which runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 27, in the Wojcik Conference Center on Harper's main campus, 1200 W. Algonquin Road in Palatine, is timed to coincide with Black History Month. It will feature a message from Allen J. Bryson, a Chicago-based author, artist, motivational speaker and education specialist.
The symposium will address the growing concerns of academic achievement, college readiness and future careers while providing information about career programs, college admissions and financial aid. A panel of current Harper students will also give insight into the college experience.
More than 100 high school sophomores, juniors and seniors are expected to attend. Tamara McClain, a Harper recruiting manager and the event's coordinator, said the annual symposium is designed to create a new generation of college-bound teenagers amid U.S. Department of Education data that suggests African-American teens are less likely than their peers to graduate from high school.
"This symposium allows African-American students in our community to see people who look like them succeeding here on campus," McClain said. "We want them to pursue higher education, and this is exactly the type of event that could help them make the commitment."