What is Black Excellence? Black excellence is beautiful, intelligent, resilient, and powerful. Feb. 25, the Black Education Association (BEA) hosted its 5th Annual Black Scholars Family Night to celebrate Black Excellence at Chabot College.
Brain Augsburger, Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS) counselor and Black Excellence Collective (BEC) Coordinator opened the night with a heartfelt speech on what black excellence is and what it means to the college. It gives students something to celebrate their hard work, receive recognition for keeping a Grade-point average (GPA) of 3.0 or better.
Following Augsburger’s inspiring welcoming speech, all attendees rose in honor for the Black national anthem “Lift Every Voice and Sing” sung by Robyn Jackson. Bringing tears to guest eyes, Jackson sang with the voice of a thousand angels.
Umoja Program Coordinator and counselor Tommy Reed reassured students that they were there to be honored for all the long hours and late nights.
“We are here to celebrate you. We are here to hold you up. We are here to celebrate your greatness,” Reed says passionately while seeming to make eye contact with everyone in the crowd.
The Black Scholars Planning committee and volunteers put their best foot forward to provide a platform for students to be recognized for their hard work and excellence. Several achievement awards were given out in a variety of categories.
Voted for by their peers, Skyler Robinson, a Chabot basketball player and member of the Striving Black Brother Coalition and Tiffany Williams, were crowned Black History Month King and Queen. As a part of being crowned, both Robinson and Williams received a $250 scholarship.
Stacy Thompson, Chabot College Vice President of Academic Services, expressed how proud she was of all the scholars in attendance. “We know we can’t do it by ourselves or without the help and guidance from our ancestors.”
Over 300 black students were honored for their academic achievement for the 2019 Fall semester, and 33 educators were nominated by students to receive the Educator of Excellence Award.
Dr. Kamela Peart, My Sister’s Keeper (MSK) Coordinator, and counselor awarded students with a GPA of 3.0 — 3.99 with the Chabot Black Scholars Honor Student Award. Dr. Jeanne Wilson, Dean of Special Programs and Services, presented the Dean’s Award for Highest Academic Achievement for students with a 4.0 GPA.
Alia Gross, Chabot student, received a Dean’s Award for her 4.0 GPA was nervous and excited, not knowing what to expect. “This is my first award and for it to be a Dean’s Award is just crazy,” Gross said while laughing nervously. “This is an honor.”
Augsburger closed the ceremony by thanking the guests for taking the time to come celebrate Black Excellence as well as the sponsor’s Student Access, Success, and Equity Committee, the Student Senate of Chabot College and BEA.