14TH ANNUAL SILAS PURNELL COLLEGE EXPO WILL TAKE PLACE IN SEPTEMBER
8/29/2018, noon | Updated on 8/29/2018, noon
14th Annual Silas Purnell College Expo Will Take Place In September
BY KATHERINE NEWMAN
The Chesterfield Community Council will host their 14th Annual Silas Purnell College Expo at the Tuley Park Field House, near the corner of E. 90th St. and King Dr., on Sept. 8. The free event was created to expose students to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) nationwide as well as universities throughout Illinois.
The Chesterfield Community Council is a nonprofit community- based organization that works to promote, unify, and assist in all matters that involve the Chesterfield Community on the south side of Chicago.
The Chesterfield Community Council has invited people from across the city, county, and state to attend the Silas Purnell College Expo and take advantage of the resources they have compiled.
“We are trying to bring our high school kids to Tuley Park from throughout the state and throughout the county to expose them to HBCU’s and other state schools and schools throughout
the country just to get them in the mindset that this is what you should be striving to do. We realize that all kids are not going to go to college or don’t want to go to college, but for those that do,
we want to expose them to the concept of a higher education,” said Eli Washington, chairman of the Board of Directors for the Chesterfield Community Council.
The event will offer seminars on obtaining scholarships, writing an admission essay, and ACT/SAT test prep along with onsite representatives from numerous local and national colleges and universities to answer questions.
Silas Purnell, who the College Expo is named after, once lived in Chesterfield with his wife, who was a board member for the Chesterfield Community Council. The College Expo was created 14 years ago in his honor and to carry on his legacy of connecting young people with higher education opportunities.
Exposure to higher education opportunities is important because if students are thinking about furthering their education they will be less likely to commit crimes, according to Washington.
“When we look at all the violence and stuff like that, if you are thinking about going to college you are not going to be thinking about shooting someone or robbing someone. You have to have goals and aspirations, that’s just part of the growing process,” said Washington.
The Chesterfield Community Council is calling on people who don’t need information about college to look around and see who they know that does and invite them to the College Expo.
“Even if your kids are grown and out of the house, still invite your grandkids, invite the kids on your block, invite the kids that go to your church, invite whatever kids you know that are in high school,” said Washington. “It is upon all of us to try to reach these kids out there because a lot of them are looking for some type of direction and if none of us are willing to give them any type of direction then they are going to run astray just like they are doing now.”