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Students participate in African American Youth Heritage Day
Marie Cephers took the podium at the Dunbar Center last Friday and bellowed a boisterous "good morning!" to a room packed full of African-American students from multiple school districts in Tucson. That energy kicked off the 8th Annual African American Youth Heritage Day in Tucson the right way.
Ms. Cephers is the main architect of the event, which offers workshops, college information and speakers to the students who attend. Throughout Dunbar were enthusiastic presentations, conversations, performances and interactions.
"We get them in touch with their history," Ms. Cephers explained, "We have people come in for the various workshops that we offer… they provide [the kids] with their history."
The workshops covered various topics, such as college planning, setting goals, financing your future, athletics and even a haircare workshop. The Dunbar Center also includes a barber school within its walls.
In addition to the workshops were booths set up by both local colleges and HBCUs, including University of Arizona, Arizona State, Northern Arizona, Cochise College, Pima Community College, Prairie View A&M, Jackson State and more. The booths offered information about the various colleges to interested students.
Jimmy Hart, the director of African American Student Services at Tucson Unified School District, stressed the importance of everything that goes into making the event what it is, including searching for the right keynote speaker and urging University of Arizona students to come engage with the attendees and discuss college.
"The whole purpose of this event is to empower students, build their self-esteem and give them the opportunity to come together," Mr. Hart said, "We bring together 400-450 students to interact, have fun and engage."