More than 200 student winners were selected from the fourteen Greenville County High Schools in five distinct categories: Academics, Art, Athletics, Leadership, and Music. More than a dozen different college admission recruiters were present to engage student winners and their families with information about their respective institutions. Student winners were high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors and were selected by their own teachers, counselors, and administrators to have college potential. "We believe that identifying these students and encouraging them to consider college as a next step in their career is a vital part of creating Dr. King's vision of a 'Beloved Community', said Bobby Clark, Chairman of this year's Program and Fair. "We are proud of their accomplishments and we want to give their families timely information to improve their careers and the lives of others around them."
This year marks the unveiling of the new name of the College Fair, now called the Rudolph G. Gordon College Fair, which is now named after the recently-passed local leader. Dr. Gordon served as Greenville County's District Superintendent until 2000 and Greenville County School District continues to be a major supporter of the Program and Fair. "We were very fortunate to have Dr. Gordon's daughter, Melanie Gordon, present for the event. We look forward to a long and supportive relationship with Melanie and the rest of Dr. Gordon's Family", said Travis Smith, President of Gamma Gamma Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
GGL Chapter has conducted the program, which has a long history in Greenville county, dating back to 1977. "We have several parents attending today's events who were past winners of the MLK Award and are now bringing their sons and daughters to received their awards. Back then, we had a much smaller event with a dozen awards given, now we have grown to awarding more than 200 awards from across the entire county." commented Smith. This Program has grown to be part of the local Alpha Phi Alpha National Program "Go to High School, Go to College" effort started nationally in 1916. The Program now focuses on providing information, encouragement, and recognition to more students.
Now the Foundation will play a larger role with the program and fair, especially giving sponsors the opportunity to support this program along with the other foundation efforts in the Upstate. Our 2013 sponsors are General Electric, Furman University, US&S, Inc., Vision Plus, The Blood Connection, Bon Secours St. Francis Health System, and Piedmont Natural Gas.
After the concurrent sessions, more than fifty student winners were presented with their award certificates and a group picture was taken of them. We want to thank for our sponsors General Electric for providing the certificates and holders for our winners, and to Furman University for hosting the event for the last five years. The remaining students winners will be presented their awards at their school's award programs this Spring.
For more information about the Program and Fair, please contact the foundation phone number or visit the effort page for MLK Youth Program and Gordon College Fair on this website.