Commentary

This virtual workshop aims to connect Harrisburg’s youth with college opportunities | Anwar Curtis

Myra Blackwell has once again found a way to fulfill her purpose — while giving young people and adults an opportunity to pursue theirs

March 22, 2022 6:30 am

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When it comes to educating our youth, a person either has what it takes to make a positive impact on a young person or they don’t.

Anwar Curtis (Capital-Star file photo)

I have come across many well-rounded individuals, especially during COVID-19, who have gone above and beyond to make sure every student, especially young children of color, has the necessary tools to engage in their everyday education. They’ve also worked to make sure that they’re equipped with more advanced tools that will help them to pursue learning at the college level.

You’ll shortly learn more about the tools to which I am referring. But first I would like to re-introduce you to a woman who has made it her business to help our young people gain the access to higher learning. Myra Blackwell, who is a native of Philadelphia, has become a household name not only in central Pennsylvania, but throughout the state overall.

Over the past five years, Blackwell has been dedicated to helping Bethel AME Church’s Scholarship Committee and YPD grant scholarships for young people right here in Harrisburg, and through her foundation College Prep Lady LLC.

Blackwell also has curated quite a few in-person college preparation workshops for high school students as well. So with the end of the school year just months away, Blackwell wants to make sure our young people are informed and college-ready.

But how would she make such a consistent in-person initiative happen now that technology has become the main source to conduct conferences, staff meetings, and church services thanks to COVID-19? Well, thanks to  Stephen Ampersand, our young people will have another college preparation workshop to look forward to this Saturday, March 26.

Ampersand, who has more than 20 years’ experience in the higher education field, is the president and CEO of Turn The Tassel Consulting Group, LLC.

He has taken the opportunity to not only create a platform that teaches both young people and adults the importance of college finances, but he is also excited to collaborate with Blackwell expand her already well oiled in-person college preparation workshop to meet the requirements of the current times with a virtual workshop.

How one Harrisburg woman is helping city youth achieve their post-high school dreams | Anwar Curtis

If you are unfamiliar with the principles that Turn The Tassel Consulting Group, LLC, stands on let me give you some context.

Turn The Tassels’ mission is to help students get through college on time with minimum to no debt. Its vision is to help households pursuing a college degree save at least 50% on the education costs by finishing on time, which will help “change family trees” who may already be in-depth from a parent previously pursuing a college degree. This partnership is needed for so many reasons.

For one thing, it shows our young people why it is important for Black men and Black women to coexist on a professional level. For another, because the workshop is virtual, 9th through 12th graders both nationwide and around the world will be able to join the discussion.

So what can these students expect from this Saturday’s workshop, which runs from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.?

Dr. Linnie Carter, of Harrisburg Area Community College, will talk to students about the importance of marketing themselves.Victor Rodgers who is the Associate Provost, of Workforce Development and Continuing Education will also be in attendance to inform our young people on HACC’s First Responders program and will also hold a Q&A portion during his presentation.

Tiffanie DeVan, a Higher Education Access Partner at the Pennsylvania’s Higher Education Assistance Agency, also will also be in attendance. And of course and Ampersand and Blackwell will conduct a session on school admissions and finances for those young people and parents who are considering pursuing higher education.

Once again Ms. College Prep Lady has found a way to fulfill her purpose, giving young people and adults an opportunity to pursue theirs.

Opinion contributor Anwar Curtis, of Harrisburg, tells the stories of the people of Pennsylvania’s Capital City. Readers may follow him on Twitter @ACTheMayor

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