Education Matters: Over 1k students to attend, African American Student Leadership Conference in Fresno

FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) – After being appointed last January, Dr. Kim Armstrong has settled into her position as president of Clovis Community College.

She is busy implementing the college’s new educational master plan and expanding the career technical education program, but her top priority is and remains the students.

“I feel inspired by the students who come up to me and say hi and talk to me because that’s what I’m there for to be approachable and let them know I’m here,” said Dr. Kim Armstrong.

She took that message to the African American Student Leadership Conference held at the Fresno Convention Center in Downtown Fresno. Dr. Armstrong was among a group of keynote panelists who shared their journey to higher education with hundreds of students.

“We were told from generation to generation to get an education, they can’t take it from you. Those are the shoulders that I stand on and pass on to my children because it’s about the knowledge and sharing that knowledge with your community,” said Armstrong.

The theme of the conference was, “We stand on the shoulders of giants.” Organizer Dr. Angie Barfield said students don’t have to search the history books for role models.

“We want our young local kids to understand we have giants right here. It’s not always in the textbooks, it’s not just what you see on social media they are sitting in space with us,” said Dr. Angie Barfield.Coordinator of AASSLC.

In break-out sessions, students from around the valley had the opportunity to meet and network with community leaders, and educators.

“It’s super important I think it’s just those people can lean on for questions or letter recommendations because they’ve done it before so I can see what they did and improve,” said Student Perrin Haynes at Justin Garza High School.

The office of the Fresno County Superintendent of Schools hosts the annual conference. It kicks off the celebration of black history month, student, Perrin Haynes says it was inspiring to listen to those who have been able to achieve despite facing many challenges.

“And I just think that all the individuals that are in my life they are there for a reason and they are going to help me become who I want to be,” said Haynes.

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