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Nominee’s nameRakiba Mitchell
SEEN Changemaker CategoryEducation
Ms. Mitchell is a changemaker because she makes an impact wherever she lands. She has served in education for twenty-two years and in the role of school counselor for the past fifteen years. Our paths crossed when she was my high school counselor at her alma mater King High School. I shared my desire to attend Howard University and Ms. Mitchell sought out the necessary resources and made the every pertinent contact so that she could support my career goal. She served as my mentor throughout my matriculation at Howard, was present when I became a member of Alpha Kappa Sorority and after I return she invited me to join her as a session facilitator at a conference.
After many years of working with students in various districts Ms. Mitchell felt the need to create a platform so that Historically Black Colleges and Universities could be actively promoted as viable post secondary options for students. Being that there are no HBCUs in Michigan there college going culture in most schools lack the presence of HBCUs. This is true even in the spaces where the majority of the students are black. The problem, as she saw it, was that there are over one hundred more options that could be presented to students , specfically students who struggle to be admissible to most of the public institutions in the state. HBCUs also need students to continue to thrive. "They need to know that there are spaces that were deigned for them to blossom and thrive," Ms. Mitchell said. In order to bring about awareness Ms. Mitchell started HBC&U Legacies LLC in 2017. She and her team have made tremedous strides in the educational arena both locally and nationally by educating students about HBCUs and to assisting them with the exploration, application and enrollment process. Her team also educates counselors and provides them with the tools necessary for creating an HBCU inclusive college-going culture.
HBC&U Legacies LLC has facilitated the HBCU Dialogue at the following places and spaces:
Oak Park High School Freshman Institute (Oak Park, MI) • MSCA (Michigan School Counselors Association) Fall Conference (2017, 2018) • Detroit College Day • Cody DIT & Cody APL • College Board’s “A Dream Deferred Conference” 2018 (Houston, TX) • College Board’s Forum 2014 (Las Vegas, NV) • MACAC Spring Conference (Ypsilanti, MI) • Detroit School of the Arts Saturday College Week Series • Davis Aerospace/Golightly Career Technical High School • Harper Woods High School College Night (Harper Woods, MI) • Benjamin Carson High School • Waverly High School (E. Lansing, MI) • DCP @ Northwestern High School • School Daze: The Real Straight Talk sponsored by Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Eta Iota Omega Chapter • Jackson College • MCAN Conference 2019 • Detroit College Day 2018, 2019 • LINKS Detroit College Fair 2019
They were awarded the Community Superstars Award at the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, 88th Great Lakes Regional Conference in April of 2019 for their work in HBCU promotion in the region.
Ms. Mitchell's accomplishments from February-June of 2019 were as follows:
-2019 College Board Counselor Recognition Program
-Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., Great Lakes Region 2019 Community Superstar
-Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc., Thirteenth International District
-Detroit Public Schools Community District Certificate of Service (Superintendent's Award)
-Mix 92.3 Teacher of the Week (May 2019 Honoree)
-Detroit Public Schools Community District Outstanding Educator Award
It is because of Ms. Mitchells vision and her team's work that students are being provided with fruitful information about the rich legacy of Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Students in the Metro Detroit area and through the nation have the ability to choose their best path because they are being provided with all post secondary options. More students are being provided with the opportunity to attend and graduate from an HBCU and the HBCU alumni who reside in the community have the opportunity to engage with students and facilitate college options. You can follow their journey daily at www.facebook.hbculegacies (They provide pertinent HBCU information via their FB page in order to promote the option on a daily basis)
The SEEN Changemaker Awards are brought to you by
Peter and Danialle Karmanos