Alexander preaches about college at Super Sunday
Published: Sunday, February 24, 2013
Updated: Sunday, February 24, 2013 20:02
Cal State Long Beach President F. King Alexander took the pulpit at Antioch Church of Long Beach on Sunday in an attempt to reach out to a predominately black community about the importance of a college education.
The Super Sunday event, which features Cal State University leaders and officials speaking to predominantly black churches across the state about college planning, started about eight years ago under the direction of former Cal State University Chancellor Charles B. Reed. Today, there are 110 churches involved in the event.
According to CSU Spokesman Erik Fallis, there has been a 30 percent increase of degrees acquired by blacks in the CSU system since 1998.
At the Super Sunday event, Pastor Wayne Chaney Jr. of Antioch Church praised Alexander’s leadership of CSULB.
“If CSULB has been able to weather a storm, it is because of this leader [Alexander],” Chaney said.
Alexander said he came to Antioch Church five years ago with one important question.
“I asked that Antioch church help enroll students and help them graduate,” he said.
At the event, Alexander stressed the importance of motivating children throughout the early years of learning until they reach high school.
“We hover over our children in elementary school, then distance ourselves when they reach middle school and high school,” Alexander said. “When I speak to fifth graders and ask how many want to go to college, every hand goes up.”
Alexander also said that every year, CSULB brings fifth graders on campus for a day. He said he believes that showing students how they can succeed in the future can help them to avoid poverty and jail time.
“I want young people to know they can do anything they want and become what they want to be,” Alexander said. “I’m here to ask for your help so that those fifth graders’ hands do not ever go down, because with your help we will be able to get them there.”
Ryan Hoyle, a senior communications major and marketing minor at CSULB who attended the Super Sunday event, said that in junior high, teachers said he had the potential to succeed, but he didn’t really take school seriously at a young age.
“I never really applied myself in junior high,” Hoyle said. “When I was in high school, I got more involved, and when I reached CSULB, I took advantage of the resources and tried to get more involved in clubs. I think the Super Sunday event and having [Alexander] speak is a great thing”
JinJer Harris, a senior child development major, said that she was an exotic dancer for nine years before she found a more spiritual connection with God and applied to CSULB to pursue a higher education.
“I knew that I wanted to get a degree, and my priorities were out of line,” Harris said.