8th Annual Riverdale College Career Fair Provides Options for Future and Former Students

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The young woman took the stage, followed by a volunteer at the 8th Annual Colleges, Careers and Services Fair in Riverdale, a town south of Atlanta in Clayton County. He helped her to a microphone to announce that she had just been accepted by Albany State University. Gabriel Dudley, 17, held a gold and blue mini Albany State flag and smiled brightly. She had made her choice of university known and was proud of it.

Gabriel Dudley (left) announced that she had been accepted by Albany State at the college fair.

“I chose Albany State because my family is from about [there] and I wanted to go to college near my family,” said Dudley, a senior at Heritage High School in Conyers. “Also, the nursing program is really good.” College Factual, a college ranking website, ranks Albany State’s nursing program among the top 20 in the state.

Dudley only had one type of institution in mind when applying to colleges. “I really only had HBCUs on my list,” she said.

The College and Career Fair brought local students, colleges and universities from across the country to the downtown Riverdale Hall for a chance to meet and greet college representatives. The line at the Jackson State University table stretched out from the door. Although the school is hundreds of miles away, the popularity generated by the football program and former Atlanta Falcons and Braves star Deion Sanders helped catch the attention of students and their parents in attendance. .

The other HBCUs in attendance were Claflin University and Tuskegee University, both out of state. Other out-of-state schools ranged from the University of Pittsburgh, Ohio State University, University of Toledo, University of Miami to Massachusetts Institute of Technology, all had tables at the fair .

Nolan Shelton, 17, is staying close to home for college. Also a senior at Heritage High School, he had just been accepted to Georgia Gwinnett College while attending the fair.

For those who weren’t as interested in attending college and were looking to take advantage of the career part of the show, there were programs like Year Up. The Year Up Greater Atlanta branch was at the fair to educate young people ages 18-29 about another option for college and career changes like the military. A workforce development program that runs in 27 states, candidates can learn how to start careers in business, finance, banking and technology, according to Corey Johnson, a representative for the 14-state branch. year. “We give them a career in a year,” he said while simultaneously handing out flyers to interested attendees.

The program will have students in half-year courses and in the field working with companies such as JP Morgan Chase, E-Trade and Bank of America. These Fortune 500 companies fund the program, and Johnson said that’s why the selection process can be difficult for some. “That’s why we ask each candidate if they are serious,” he said.

Applicants can earn transferable college credits, health insurance through Kaiser Permanente. The next Year Up course in Georgia begins in October.

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