SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – The County Office of Education is giving hope to students trying to get into college. The Black College Expo is going virtual this year, but they’re still offering scholarships and on-the-spot admissions.
Jasmine Walker was accepted against all odds when she attended the expo in 2018. Before then, she always thought college would be out of the question.
“Once I actually got to high school I was sleeping on the street in a tent,” said Walker. “There were times I would try to hide so people from my school wouldn’t see me.”
The San Diego native was homeless from 5th grade into her senior year. When she wasn’t in school she was just trying to survive.
“I had to wake up early before school to pack up my tent put it in carts, tie the carts down, push it somewhere where id know no one would touch it,” said Walker.
Against all odds, she still managed to do her homework and get good grades. In 2018, the idea of college still felt out of reach until a field trip brought her to The Black College Expo. She was offered admission to Bethune-Cookman University instantly.
Now, she’s taking college classes virtually and has a roof over her head.
The expo has introduced San Diego students to dozens of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, or HBCUs, for the past three years. For their virtual event, they’re still offering up scholarships and instant admissions. Students can upload their transcripts which will be reviewed in just a matter of minutes.
Dr. Theresa Price with the National College Resource Foundation says they’re seeing huge impacts from the increased popularity of social justice movements.
“Every day it’s, ‘I want to go to an HBCU,’” said Price. “Their enrollment was definitely growing. Some of them had grown by 40%.”
Walker will be graduating with a degree in psychology from Bethune-Cookman University next year. Until then, she’s sharing her story with other students, proving college is not out of reach for anyone.
“Opportunities will come to you when you believe in it and you put in the hard work to there,” said Walker. “If you believe in what you want it will come true.”
The 4th Annual Black College Expo runs from noon to 3 p.m. on Feb. 18, 2021. Click here to register.