Lauren Brown / For the Lantern
Members of the Ohio State chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers hit the streets Saturday morning to increase awareness of higher education in the Columbus community.
About 15 students gathered in the cafeteria of Windsor Academy Elementary School in anticipation of NSBE’s A Walk for Education.
“We are trying to find a way we can promote receiving an education in an urban neighborhood where education really isn’t stressed,” said Ida Adugna, a third-year in industrial systems and engineering.
Adugna said her experiences in Columbus City Schools showed her the discrepancies between high school graduation rates in urban and suburban areas.
“I’ve seen the difference in education,” Adugna said. “We’re trying to get college students themselves to give back to the community.”
NSBE students prepared 500 bags filled with information and distributed them to the Linden community. In groups of four, students went door to door passing out information and talking to members of the community.
NSBE is a society for black engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally and positively impact the community, according to NSBE’s website.
Jasmyne Walker, a third-year in chemical engineering and the president of the OSU chapter of NSBE, said the organization worked with Windsor Academy and local businesses to produce this event.
“It’s exciting to see people that do want to further education,” Walker said.
NSBE received donations of informational packets from OSU, Columbus State Community College and other universities in Ohio. Walker said the College Board also donated practice exams for the ACT and information about the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and the SAT.
Windsor Academy provided the meeting site. UBX Book Exchange and Panera Bread donated supplies for the event.
Kiara Eichelberger, a second-year in industrial and systems engineering, said it was important to reach out to parents and younger children with information about opportunities in education.
“The thoughts that you have at a young age are the thoughts that continue,” Eichelberger said. “If you think education is important now, you’re going to think it’s important later.”
Eichelberger credited a prefreshman, pre-engineering program for helping her become more familiar with post-secondary education.
“Everybody should at least know the opportunities that they do have,” Eichelberger said. “I just want to shed that light on somebody else.”
Jonathan Pinkins, a third-year in chemical engineering, said he thought the outreach project was a success.
“My goal was to spread out as much information as I could,” Pinkins said. “It was nice going up and down the streets and seeing red bags all over the doors.”
Pinkins said most of the people he visited were receptive to the information.
“We saw a lot of people walking around that we didn’t even talk to, and they had bags,” Pinkins said.
Walker and Adugna said it’s exciting to see young people excited about education while giving back to the community.
“We’re just trying to show that black people can go to college and succeed,” Adugna said. “It can be them one day.”