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Brookdale Newsroom

‘Minority Male Initiative’ Conference Returns Feb. 17
A student speaks into a microphone surrounded by fellow students in the Student Life Center.

Local students are invited to a free day of networking, career development and new scholarship opportunities on Feb. 17 during the third annual “Minority Male Initiative” conference, hosted by Brookdale and the Monmouth/Ocean County Pan Hellenic Council.

The free conference, titled “Setting Priorities for Career Success,” will offer career-oriented workshops designed specifically for local high school juniors, seniors and current Brookdale students. It is co-sponsored by Hackensack Meridian Health and Brookdale’s Educational Opportunity Fund program.

Students are invited to network with area professionals and learn about specific jobs offered in four separate career clusters: STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics); health care and health science; business and social science; and communications media. Workshop leaders will also provide guidance on the educational pathways that lead to those careers.

The keynote address will be provided by Dr. Brian Roper, a Neptune-based physician, and a lunchtime discussion will be led by Reginald Anderson, regional director of information technology for Comcast-NBC.

Ed Johnson, former Asbury Park mayor and director of Brookdale Community College’s Higher Education Center in Long Branch, hosts a workshop during the 2016 Minority Male Initiative conference.

Ed Johnson, former Asbury Park mayor and director of Brookdale Community College’s Higher Education Center in Long Branch, hosts a workshop during the 2016 Minority Male Initiative conference.

The conference is open to local high school juniors, seniors and Brookdale students. Unique scholarship opportunities are available for eligible attendees. Pre-registration is required.

High school students should contact their school’s guidance department to register and receive a scholarship application. Brookdale students should contact Lisa Savage at lsavage@brookdalecc.edu.  

The conference will be held in Brookdale’s Warner Student Life Center. Check-in begins at 8 a.m.

“Each year more and more male students of color are enrolling in college, yet they still face enormous challenges,” said Lisa Savage, student services associate at Brookdale and a co-organizer of the conference. “We want to provide a comprehensive system of support and encouragement as students navigate their educational journey and move on to a successful career.”

While the percentage of all students earning bachelor’s degrees increased significantly over the last 20 years, the gap between white students and black or Latino students has grown as well, according to a 2016 report by the National Center for Education Statistics.

Between 1995 and 2015, the percentage of white 25- to 29-year-olds who had earned a bachelor’s degree rose from 29 to 43 percent. Among African Americans in the same age group, the percentage holding bachelor’s degrees increased by only six points, from 15 to 21 percent, while for Hispanics it rose only seven points, from 9 to 16 percent.

According to a 2012 report by the National Center for Education Statistics, only 34 percent of black males who enrolled as full-time college students earned a bachelor’s degree within six years, as opposed to 59 percent of white males. According to a May 2014 study by the Cen­ter for Eco­nom­ic and Policy Re­search, 12.4 percent of black college graduates age 22 to 27 were unemployed, more than double the unemployment rate for all college graduates in the same age group.