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Central club joins admissions in Seattle recruitment fair

Jayna Smith, Assistant News Editor - November 28, 2012

This school year’s incoming freshmen represented the most diverse freshmen class in Central’s history.

A club on campus, Extraordinary Men Pursuing Intellectual Readiness through Education (E.M.P.I.R.E) is working to make sure next year’s freshmen will represent even more diversity.

Andre Dickerson, a Central alum who now works for Central’s admissions, invited E.M.P.I.R.E to join admissions in a recruitment effort which took place at Rainier Beach High School in Seattle.

According to the Seattle Public School Report last updated in March of 2011, Rainier Beach’s ethnicity demographics are 57 percent African American, 18 percent Asian, 13 percent Chicano/Latino and nine percent White/Caucasian.

When E.M.P.I.R.E was invited to the college fair, club president Saeed Mohamed knew the club needed to participate.

His goal was to show students from diverse backgrounds they can attend college as well.

“If I can do it, any young brother coming from anywhere can do it,” Mohamed said.
More than 200 high school students attended the event, and Central alone got over 60 students to sign up for more information regarding admission. According to Dickerson, that is almost double the average amount of signatures admissions gets at recruitment fairs.

“For me personally, it was a way to show people who were under represented that Central is the key,” Mohamed said.

E.M.P.I.R.E started in 2010 from a focus group Keith Champagne and Adam Hazlip began along with Anthony Peterson and Dickerson. The pillars the club is built on are scholarship, mentorship and service. With over 50 members and about 20 active members, male and female, E.M.P.I.R.E looks to expand and develop a presence outside of Central.

E.M.P.I.R.E has helped students who weren’t taking high school seriously and needed to become more responsible about their education transitioning into college.

Delshawn Staten, a freshman exercise science major, met Dickerson and Mohamed at a college fair at Seattle University and they recruited him to come to Central.
“E.M.P.I.R.E gave me a second chance because I was messing up back home,” Staten said. “It gives students who are serious about succeeding opportunities and connections.”

He said being a part of E.M.P.I.R.E showed him people of all backgrounds getting college degrees and paving the way for other students from various walks of life to do the same.

“Our goal is to build global leaders,” Mohamed said.

James Siu Jr., sophomore aviation major at Central, attended Rainier Beach High School but graduated from Garfield High School.

Hailing from Nicaragua, he has lived in the U.S. since 2007 but didn’t become fluent in English until about three years later.

He was always active in high school, and joined E.M.P.I.R.E because he liked what it stood for.

“E.M.P.I.R.E is helping us get the best out of college,” Siu said.

E.M.P.I.R.E is working to expand and offer scholarships for students. Other schools contacted E.M.P.I.R.E and made donations.

“I think we are expanding now and will keep expanding to other schools,” Siu said.

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