'I was just crying' - Lynwood students celebrate recruitment by historically Black colleges

LYNWOOD, Calif. (KABC) -- A caravan of college recruiters made visits to Lynwood U.F.D. high schools and allowed students to earn on-the-spot acceptance to a college, which included more than 25 Historically Black colleges and universities.

"I got accepted into Philander Smith College and they gave me a $24,000 scholarship," said Ryan Emanuel, a senior at Lynwood High School. "I was just over in the corner crying happy tears."

The caravan was organized by the National College Resources Foundation. They hosted their first annual Black college expo more than 20 years ago. The foundation aims to help under-serviced and underrepresented students.

"This program has proven itself. We have helped over half a million kids get into college. We have helped students secure over a billion dollars in scholarships, in grants," said Dr. Theresa Price, founder of the foundation and the Black College Expo. "Today is about letting students know that regardless of their background, where they're from, higher education is available."

The school district said they prepared their seniors for this big day by having their transcripts and test scores on hand. According to organizers, the event is not limited to African American students. The caravan also aims to boost the enrollment of Latino students.

"I want our kids to have the best, the opportunity to go to a place that will take them beyond and spread their horizon," said Dr. Patricia Brent-Sanco, the director of Equity, Access, & Instructional Services Lynwood Unified School District.

According to the school district, in the 2020 caravan, Lynwood High students received nearly $6 million in scholarships and nearly 400 students were accepted to a college.

"I feel excited mostly because I am not sure I am the first person in my family to go to a university, but also because I can play football for the university," said Khaleeq Johnson, who was accepted to Coppin State University.

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