Minority Student Leadership Conference hits home for volunteers


At the upcoming Minority Student Leadership Conference, TCU student volunteers will tell minority high school students that college is possible.

“The Minority Student Leadership Conference will give students a lot of crucial information that people don’t tell them. When I was applying for college, I didn’t really understand what I was doing or what I needed to do,” Stephanie Sanders, a senior fashion merchandising major, said.

Unsupportive counselors, low performing schools, lack of resources and parents who are not college educated are just some of the factors that connect university student volunteers to students who will attend next week's conference, Christian Perez, the MSLC internal executive director, said.

According to the MSLC website, the event, which is sponsored by the Office of Inclusiveness and Intercultural Services, is a one day college awareness seminar geared toward Dallas-Fort Worth area high school sophomores and juniors. 

For many student volunteers, the conference is not just another opportunity for involvement with the university, Perez said. It is a chance to give back and give high school students an experience that was not available to them. 

Unsupportive counselors and school officials contributed to Perez's college doubt when she was in high school, she said.

“When I was growing up in high school, I had a lot of people telling me that I couldn’t [go to college]," Perez said. "I was categorized as the dumb jock. I like the fact that MSLC tells students that college is possible.” 

Sophomore Spanish major Gifton Milburn said he sees MSLC as a necessity for high school students.

“It is important to not only get minorities exposed to college life but to give all high school students the belief that college is possible," Milburn said. "I wish that as a high school senior, I would have been a part of a conference that would have brought me on to a college campus because I started college really blindly.” 

The conference tagline “College Is Possible” is relevant for everyone involved in the conference, whether a university faculty member, university student or high school student, Perez said.

Volunteers have been working for months to organize the event, Perez said. During the conference, students will host groups and talk with students at each meal.

According to the MSLC website, “Most of the students on the director board as well as those volunteering with the conference are products of the very high schools that we invite to attend our conference."

The conference will occur Feb. 15 in the Brown-Lupton University Union.