Diversity Outreach and Development Program infuse high school students to college

Mary Booth

The Office of Diversity Outreach and Development met with juniors from Buchtel High School on Tuesday and Wednesday to further their interest in college.

The high school students got an opportunity to interact with a panel of Kent State students and ask them any questions they had about the educational and social aspects of college.

N.J. Akbar, the Director of Diversity Outreach and Development at the College of Education, Health and Human Services, said he hoped after seeing the success of the panel members, the high school students would feel more apt to attend college and also be successful.

“We wanted to give you all an opportunity to actually talk with real, live college students. Some of who have also gone through Akron Public Schools,” Akbar said. “This is an opportunity to ask them anything you want to know about college and their experience in it.”

Delana Noil, sophomore interior design major and member of the panel, informed the students of ways to prepare for college academically.

“Definitely pay attention to your GPA,” Noil said. “And if you have the ability to take AP courses, that helped me get some of my Kent Core out of the way. It will make your college experience that much easier so you can focus more on the classes you need for your major.”

Matthew Thompson, junior sports administration major and member of the panel, told the students about the importance of getting involved on campus.

“You get the most out of college when you’re involved in student organizations,” Thompson said. “You get to network with people and grow from experiences through the people you meet and the projects you all work on together.”

Zulema Uscanga, senior public health major and member of the panel, provided the students with advice for when they enter their college careers.

“You’re going to be faced with several challenges and difficult times and it’s up to you to embrace those challenges and difficult times and make the best out of them,” Uscanga said. “Everything happens for a reason and it may be to develop a skill or learn something about yourself, just don’t let it sink you, always move forward.”

The students from Buchtel High School got to experience other aspects of the University. Akbar said they also got to shadow a student on campus, sit in on a college class and go on a campus tour.

Jonte Moore, junior at Buchtel High School, said he is now considering enrolling at Kent State after graduation. He said he enjoyed his time spent at Kent.

“I really liked going into the classrooms,” Moore said. “It was cool to see what it actually looked like and everything, I wasn’t sure what to expect.”

The Office of Diversity Outreach and Development focuses on recruitment for college outreach and retention, said Akbar.

“Today was an example of one of the things we do with schools and students from low income communities and diverse backgrounds,” Akbar said. “To try to increase college access to all individuals and part of college access is just simply about the exposure.”

For more information about the Office of Diversity Outreach and Development go to the Diversity Outreach and Development webpage.

Contact Mary Booth at [email protected].