I’d like you to meet a young gentleman who graduated from Mission High School more than a year ago. His name is Hatim Mansori, and he did really well during his time in the San Francisco Unified School District.
But today I want to tell you what he’s been up to since graduation.
Hatim was accepted to many universities. He ultimately chose Morehouse College in Atlanta, Ga., and he’s
having a great time studying philosophy.
It may seem Hatim “lucked out” to find a great place to attend college, but here at the SFUSD, we don’t leave our students’ college and career successes to chance. Hatim found out about Morehouse at our annual Historically Black Colleges and Universities Fair.
What Hatim has to say about his college
“I learned that the people here at Morehouse are very diverse,” he said. “People come from all around the country — and the world. I am expanding my knowledge and I interact with many people from different cultures.
“I chose an HBCU, in part, because I come from a city where it was rare to see someone like me. I wanted to go to a school where this was actually inevitable.”
Why go to the HBCU fair?
I asked Hatim what brought him to the district’s HBCU fair in his senior year of high school.
“It allowed me to see my options to go to different colleges,” he said. “And having options gives you the freedom to choose. I’d rather have more options than few.”
Hatim’s advice to current high school students: “It’s free, so why not go? You have nothing to lose!”
But he had more to say.
“For all of you African-American seniors, choosing to attend an HBCU is important because these places prepare you for the real world,” Hatim said. “They understand your culture and your hardships and have tailored an education just for your experience. You will feel welcomed and your school will become an extended family.”
Get accepted to college on-the-spot
Why am I telling you about this now? Because our HBCU Fair, sponsored by the San Francisco Alliance of Black School Educators, is today.
Last year’s fair was a huge success for our students. Like Hatim, several students received on-the-spot admissions — and some even got scholarship offers.
Official representatives from more than 35 of the country’s leading HBCUs will interview college-bound students. Students will review financial aid information and see up close some of the most respected historically black institutions of higher learning.
Florida A&M State University, Grambling State University, Howard University, Spelman College, Stillman College and Virginia State University will be there.
The event is free and open to all SFUSD students.
Like Hatim says, it’s good to have options to choose from.
IF YOU GO:
5th Annual Historically Black Colleges and Universities Fair
When: Monday, Sept. 11, 4-7:30 p.m.
Where: Mission High School, 3750 18th St., S.F.
Vincent Matthews is superintendent of the San Francisco Unified School District.