Oleander 2 Civic and Social Club presents third HBCU Career Fair at AHS

Published 12:30 pm Thursday, February 22, 2024

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The Oleander 2 Civic and Social Club along with co-collaborator USDA Forest Service was excited to present the Third Annual Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and Career Fair on Saturday, Jan. 20 at Andalusia High School.

The cold crisp morning did not deter students, parents, college recruiters, employers, and presenters from coming out to learn from information being shared by the 11 colleges and universities, seven employers, one military branch, and four presenters attending the event.

Participants learned about the course of studies offered at the participating HBCUs and LBW Community College and their connections with the USDA Forest Service. In addition, those in attendance learned about 1890 HBCU Land Grant Institutions and the recent Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) established with LBWCC’s Forestry Department. This could enable interested students to attain internships and apprenticeships for incoming college freshmen or current or transfer college students. It will also give high school lowerclassmen information on what they need to do in preparation to pursue studies in forestry or natural resources and internship and career opportunities. The employers provided information to participants about part-time and full-time job opportunities as well as what their businesses did and how they should prepare if interested in a career within their field.

Presenters shared information and tips on financial aid, how to search for scholarships, and how to write essays and academic resumes, which were beneficial to students and their parents. These skills provided them with insight into what the students needed and how they could support them as they started their journey of thinking about their future. During the student experience session, current college student panelists shared their experiences regarding college and internships with USDA agencies and answered questions from the participants. This led to some in-depth and eye-opening conversations.

Oleander 2’s said they are proud of the accomplishments the event has been able to reach in their quest to assist the Forest Service with the purpose of the MOU on attracting students and females from diverse and underserved communities to train and develop practical forestry skills.

Since the MOU and our collaboration with the Forest Service, LBW has increased its diversity and general enrollment in the forestry program by more than 500 percent. Participants attained scholarships through the knowledge they gained through presentations and spoke with recruiters and individuals who came into the Forest Service’s Resource Assistance Program from their participation in the first event. Since then, they have been hired into permanent full-time positions and received promotions. The club is proud to have been able to connect the participants with the appropriate sources this year.

Progress has been made each year, and Oleander 2 is looking forward to learning of accomplishments from this year’s participants and continuing to be able to provide a source of information to our participants.

“We are so grateful for our sponsors and donors and the support from our community and beyond as we continue our vision of giving back to our community. We will be hosting this event the Saturday after Dr. Martin Luther King Holiday each year,” Oleander 2 members said.

The 2025 event is scheduled for Jan. 25, 2025.

Those interested in participating in future fairs are encouraged to visit linktr.ee/oleander2civicandsocialclub and subscribe or email o2.sist3rs@gmail.com.