College fair offered choices, answers

October 13, 2012 9:22:54 PM PDT
While it might feel like the school year just started, it's already time for high school seniors to start thinking about college and hundreds of students and their families turned out for one of Chicago's biggest college fairs Saturday night at UIC.

There were questions and answers for those at the10th annual College Scholarship Fair.

"They gave me my choices and even though I'm a freshman I have time to think," said fair attendee Deja Eason.

"I think choosing a college is almost as important as choosing a spouse," said parent Michael van Zalingen.

Oak Park River Forest High School junior Ruby Galarza hopes to find a school where she can study both psychology and fine arts.

"I love music," she said. "I've been in music since the age of 8 so it's obviously my passion."

ABC7's Hosea Sanders helped kick off the program, while Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel mingled with the crowd at the educational fair, which is the brainchild of the not-for-profit organization 100 Black Men of Chicago.

"We want to increase the number of all kids to college," said 100 Black Men of Chicago's Craig Gilmore.

There is an emphasis on young African American males. Of the nearly 200 institutions of higher learning at the fair offering scholarships, a number are historically Black colleges.

"We're losing jobs across the nation and if you're talking about certain populations, the black community. It is what it is," said Tuskegee University's Erik Mehren.

But for Steven Harrison, the fair gave him just what he came for, knowledge and a choice.

"North Carolina, Chapel Hill, is looking good," he said. "So are Harvard and Howard.

Organizers hope next year to make the event bigger and better.


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