The African American Scholars Project is helping raise the number of African American students ready for college

Maya Brunell | Staff Writer

On Feb. 11, 2017 from 9:00 am to 1:30 pm, a group of high school students met at Granada High School, to attend the African American Scholars Project, which was founded and headed by Dr. Maisha Beasley and Ashley Patterson. This was the first of four meetings that will be held. The other three will be on on March 11, April 8, and May 6. This project started at Livermore High School, and through outreach, spread to GHS and some middle schools.

Beasley said that “it was rewarding, but also challenging as an African American student in the ’90s.” So, her goal for this project is to “increase the college readiness of African American students.”

Before the meeting on Feb. 11, separate girls and boys groups met at GHS and LHS, respectively. The meeting on Saturday was the first where all of the students, and some new ones, came together.

Being the first gathering, the students played some icebreaker games to get to know each other. One of the games they played was where the students split up into groups based on their preferences to something. In this case it was whether they like Snapchat or Instagram better. They joked and laughed, having a good time getting to know one another. Patterson commented that “the games help to build community” within the group.

When asked why she helped to create this project, Patterson said that “Maisha was my mentor in college and I wanted to help her to increase the numbers of African American students in college.”

Marcus Shepard (grade 10, GHS) said that he hasn’t “seen any other group like this,” and wanted to “get involved and see what they were.”

A student that went to the girls’ group, Jordan Goodwin (grade 10, LHS), commented that she attended the meeting because she was “interested in how to get into college.”

Amy Robbins, the Director of Curriculum and Special Projects at the Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District, commented that she is “excited about the additional opportunities for families.”

Similarly, Roxana Mohammed, Vice Principal at LHS, said she is “excited for the district’s support for such a worthy cause.”

All photo credits: Maya Brunell

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