By Victor Ochieng
The group brings together young, African American men and women focused on making college education more manageable for young people from different social-economic backgrounds.
The event is expected to attract over 5,000 high school juniors, sophomores, and seniors from around the area of Chicago, including Indiana, Missouri, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin. Recruiters are expected to attend the College Scholarship Fair, where they’ll make decisions on students’ admission and offer scholarships to qualifying students.
Over the past 13 years of the fair’s history, it’s provided millions of dollars in scholarships. This has made college education possible and manageable for the beneficiaries. The fair also attracts diverse community-based organizations and corporate entities that conduct educational workshops tailored to help students have a better understanding of the college application process.
“The College Scholarship Fair provides a counter-narrative to the negative headlines about youth in our community,” said Carl Tutt, president of the board of the 100 Black Men of Chicago. “We know that education is key to reducing violence; however, for many of our African American students, financial ability is a barrier to higher education. The 100 Black Men of Chicago’s College Scholarship Fair shows what happens when preparation meets opportunity, and how it can change the course of a young person’s life.”
The 100 Black Men of Chicago provides a broad-based approach to its activities, covering mentoring and education as well as health and wellness. The activities are conducted in different sites, including, Western Suburbs, Quad County Urban League; South Side, Bronzeville Scholastic Institute; South Suburbs, South Suburban College, Oak Forest; and West Side, Build Inc.
The organization has partnered with University of Illinois, Chicago’s African American Advisory Council, a body formed to address disparities in the hiring of persons of African American backgrounds as staff members. It also seeks to improve the percentage of Black students at the university.
The 100 Black Men of Chicago is also part of the Chicago Mayor’s Cabinet where it’s part of My Brother’s Keeper, a project initiated by the Obama White House. The initiative seeks to help young people remain on track.