By KATELYNN HOWSER
ATLANTA — Throughout the month of February, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta participated in College Bound’s HBCU Month to teach students the importance of historically black colleges and universities.
During HBCU Month, members of the Boys and Girls Club will be able to partake in different events and activities that shine light on the importance of education after high school, more specifically HBCUs across the country.
The activities include the photo booth challenge that will encourage the students to take and submit pictures showing school spirit that will be displayed during the HBCU Night contest. Prizes will be given to the winner to inspire students to participate.
The students will also be encouraged to create a video explaining why HBCUs are important and have it submitted by Feb. 22.
The most current event that is taking place among Boys and Girls Clubs across Georgia is the HBCU Week competition. During this week, students and faculty in the organization will choose an HBCU to represent and they must transform their club into one of these schools. Judges from the College Bound organization will come record the event while also giving information about the selected HBCU’s the Boys and Girls Club choose.
A faculty member of the Paulding County Boys and Girls Club of Metro Atlanta, Dominique Henfield, said, “During HBCU Competition Week, each section of the club selects a school to represent, so the students end up learning a good bit of information about five to six of the HBCUs around our area.”
He said throughout the week the faculty and students spend time decorating the classrooms and learning different facts about the institutions. On Friday, they all participate in a daylong event where the parents of the students are encouraged to participate in the activities as well.
“I think it is really interesting and fun to learn about the different HBCUs,” said Harley Mickle, a 15-year-old student who has attended the Boys and Girls Club for six years. “We really aren’t taught much about these universities in school, so learning about it in the Boys and Girls Club is different. I also think it is really important for our success in the future.”
She said that a lot of the students who participate in the events thoroughly enjoy learning about the traditions of the universities.Because of the experiences she has had at the Boys and Girls Club, she said she now plans on attending a historically black college and university.
The mission of the Boys and Girls Club is to provide a safe environment for its members and change the lives of young individuals.
“I believe it is my job to inspire the minds of these young students,” Henfield said. “My goal every day is to encourage these children to achieve greatness. As a faculty member of the Boys and Girls Club of Metro Atlanta, I provide the guidance that some of these kids may lack and I believe it is very beneficial to the members of our organization to expose our youth to opportunities such as HBCU Week.”
HBCU Week concluded Feb. 26 and the organizations plan to continue the event annually during the month of February in an effort to encourage Georgia’s youth to attend these universities.