Woman Visits Every 4-Year HBCU In Nation To Share Experience With Students

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A New Jersey woman visited over 90 HBCUs across the country to show high school students everything the colleges have to offer.

According to Good Morning America, Eleise Richards, a Howard University alum, started a college fair in 2016 that has now grown into the nonprofit Experience the Legacy, which aims to introduce and inform students about HBCUs, especially those who may not be able to afford an in-person visit.

"I wanted to make sure students from neighborhoods and communities that look like mine, have the real information, have the resources, have the access to recruiters, to alumni, to learn more about these schools and truly assess whether it's a good fit for them and consider them when they're thinking about their future college journey," Richards said.

Richards began her journey to visit as many HBCUs as she could in 2020 when she realized that she didn't know much about the schools that sent representatives to her college fair.

"I realized it feels a little disingenuous to me, to host and encourage kids to attend these schools when I don't really know much about a lot of them myself. I knew a good amount but I didn't know many of them still and I know that's pretty common," she said.

Richards said she divided her journey into three legs, starting with visiting all the HBCUs on the East Coast in 2020. By the fall of 2023, Richards visited every four-year HBCU in the nation along with a few community colleges.

"In total, it ended up being 93 schools, every four-year degree-granting HBCU in North America," Richards said.

The schools included Alabama State University in Montgomery, Alabama, Prairie View A&M University in Prairie View, Texas, and Elizabeth City State University in Elizabeth City, North Carolina.

"It's very diverse. It's not made up of just Black and brown students," Richards said of the HBCUs. "There are students from all walks of life, all types of different countries. There's just a lot of misconceptions out there."

Richard's next college fair for Experience the Legacy is set to be held in September.

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