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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

$2.1 Million in Scholarships Awarded at the Alfred Street Baptist Church Sponsored HBCU College Festival on Saturday, February 20

— Thousands of high school students and their families converged on T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, VA on Saturday, February 20 – just outside of the nation’s capital – to receive $2.1 Million in scholarships from Historically Black Colleges and Universities – sponsored by Alfred Street Baptist Church. —

Alfred Street HBCU Festival

Attendees of the 2016 Alfred Street College Festival

Alexandria, VA — One of the oldest, largest and most prominent African American churches in Alexandria, Virginia; Alfred Street Baptist Church, sponsored their largest college fair to date, the 14th Annual HBCU College Festival at T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria on Saturday, February 20 where $2.1 Million in scholarship funds were awarded to high school students.

Students and their families began arriving as early as 7am, even though the doors weren’t scheduled to open until 10am. Although a large number came from the Washington, DC area, a significant number came from as far away as Alabama, Illinois, New York and Florida just to name a few. Moreover, $41,000 in application fees were waved and 1,000 students received on-site admission to colleges. Over 160 scholarships were awarded in total to deserving students.

Students received life-changing news: Not only did many get accepted on-site to a plethora of HBCUs such as Hampton University, Virginia Union University, and Norfolk State University, but many received full rides. This is just another way that Alfred Street Baptist Church continues to make a difference and impact the lives of others by hosting such a significant event during Black History month.

“We intentionally brought in colleges that were prepared to give away scholarships on the spot,” said Rev. Dr. Howard-John Wesley, pastor of the historic Alfred Street Baptist Church; and the sponsor of the event. “This makes it convenient for students who otherwise may not have had help searching for college funds. We know how much this event means to our community as well as to these families; because we know that without this event, many couldn’t afford college.”

This was definitely the largest turnout to date, in the history of the event, with over 3,000 students and their families checking in on-site, augmented by the over 320 volunteers who arrived as early 6am in preparation for the event, success was imminent even before the doors opened. This event was not just for HBCUs as several branches of the military were on hand as well to talk to students about career opportunities. In addition, there were a host of seminars, break-out sessions and workshops held, which tackled issues and topics relevant to today’s youth such as: social media etiquette, preparation for college interviews, show me the money/financial aid 101, your “GPS” to success, and more.

“Black youth are often stereotyped as uneducated, with no ambition or drive, but events like these dispute the perpetual stereotype of black youth time and time again, as nearly 5,000 youth registered online to attend our college festival,” continued, Dr. Wesley. “Many black youth and their families woke up this past Saturday morning dreaming of a college education and wondering how it would be possible. By noon, of that day, many saw the dreams come to fruition and had answers. God is good and He showed up, and showed out on Saturday.”

Ryan Atkins, director of Alfred Street’s HBCU Committee (one of the organizers) said, “If you total up all the scholarships, the funds awarded exceeded over two million dollars and Saturday wrapped up with over 60 HBCUs from across the country coming on site and 42 of those granted students acceptance and money to pay for their higher education on the spot.”

Bernard Jackson, president of Alfred Street’s HBCU Committee echoed, “Many students can breathe a little easier now, we here at Alfred Street Baptist Church know that the cost of education rises every year, and that’s not even factoring in room and board, transportation, extracurricular activities — college costs can be huge. Therefore we are so blessed to host this event year after year which provides huge relief to these families.”

Follow the 2016 HBCU Festival on Social Media through the following:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/AlfredStreetBaptistChurch/
Twitter: www.twitter.com/AlfredStreetBC
Instagram: www.instagram.com/alfredstreetbc/

Hashtags: #ASBC #Alfred Street #HBCU #SupportHBCUs #HBCUSmatter #HBCUpride


About Alfred Street Baptist Church
Established in 1803, Alfred Street Baptist Church is home to the oldest and largest African American congregation in Alexandria, Va. With nearly 7,000 members, the church has served as a prominent religious, impactful, educational and cultural organization in the Northern Virginia community. The church will celebrate its 213th anniversary in November 2016 under the leadership of Rev. Dr. Howard-John Wesley. For more information, visit www.AlfredStreet.org.


Carla Welborn
703-683-2222 ext. 244