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Over 225 High School Students Attend Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region HBCU Fair

Harrisburg, PA – Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region (BBBSCR) welcomes over 225 students from partner school districts to their second annual Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCU) Fair during Black History Month.

High school students from eight area high schools arrived at WITF, Central Pennsylvania’s PBS and NPR member station, for the HBCU Fair.

“When we announced the date of the HBCU Fair, we received an immediate and overwhelming response,” shared Amanda Dunn, BBBSCR VP of Programs. “We extended an invitation to our partner school districts across our five-county service area and we saw our student attendance quickly double from last year’s inaugural event.”

BBBSCR agency leadership and members of the local Zeta Theta Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. personally greeted and welcomed attendees. Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., the first intercollegiate Greek letter fraternity established by African American Men in 1906 at Cornell University, is a Big Brothers Big Sisters local and national partner.

Through a personal video message, Artis Stevens, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America President & CEO and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. member, welcomed students and encouraged students to take full advantage of the activities at the Fair.

Ayesha Spradley, BBBSCR Director of JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion) shared how the agency engaged community leaders and partners to give the students a comprehensive look at pursuing higher education.

“We wanted to facilitate the students’ understanding of how different educational tracks can be applied in future careers and the various aspects to consider when selecting a post-secondary institution,” says Spradley. “At Big Brothers Big Sisters, we are dedicated to providing equitable access to resources and opportunities for all of our youth on their journey to becoming enrolled, enlisted and employed.”

Joseph Robinson, President of the MLK Leadership Development Institute, conducted a Service & Leadership session for students and Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity members gave an introduction to Greek Life, discussed scholarship and financial aid opportunities and spoke about the vital role HBCUs have played in American history.

Students spoke with college and university representatives from 16 HBCU’s and were given the option to complete applications in person. Students also connected with area employers and community resource organizations that shared guidance on various majors that would be best suited for the students’ career interests.

“Having companies and employers at our Fair today allows students to make the connection on how their college major can open doors to various career paths in Central Pennsylvania,” says Spradley. “Together, we are working to build a pipeline to the future.”

Dunn expressed her gratitude to BBBSCR’s partners for their support, “Today was made possible thanks to our community working together to provide our young people with the education and resources to help them envision and achieve their greatest potential.”

“We are deeply grateful to our school partners and to our corporate community providing a network of support for our youth, and to Sheetz for donating today’s lunches,” says Dunn. “And, we are especially grateful to our 2023/24 DEI Presenting Partner, The GIANT Company, for supporting the growth of our HBCU Fair and our ongoing DEI program initiatives.”

The GIANT Company’s sponsorship supports BBBSCR’s development of specialized mentoring programs and initiatives throughout 2023 & 2024 that are customized to address the needs of underserved youth.

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About Big Brothers Big Sisters                                     
Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region (BBBSCR) creates and supports one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth. For over 40 years, BBBSCR has kept its promise by expertly crafting and maintaining compatible mentoring matches between Littles (at-risk youth) and Bigs (mature volunteers) in the Capital Region. Our commitment includes using evidence-based best practices to achieve personalized outcomes and supporting matches throughout their life (one to ten years). Contributions in all forms are vital to fulfilling the agency’s mission. BBBSCR is a 501(c)(3) charity, registered with the PA Bureau of Charities, and an affiliate of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. For more information, visit the BBBSCR website at

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