CORVALLIS - Oregon State University student, faculty and administrative leaders will host a special event in Portland on Dec. 4 to help African American students in area high schools begin preparing for college.

The event, "Explore the Possibilities: Education Beyond High School," is aimed at students in grades nine through 12. It will run from 7-9 p.m. at Self Enhancement, Inc., 3920 N. Kerby Ave. in Portland.

"We are inviting African American students, their parents and community leaders to learn more about what it takes to begin preparing for a four-year university, regardless of which university that may be," said Louan Johnson, marketing assistant at OSU.

Scheduled speakers include OSU President Paul Risser; Rep. Margaret Carter, D-Portland, an OSU alum; and Paul James, newly hired coordinator of the university's Ujima Education Office.

A panel of OSU students will discuss their own college preparations and their experiences at Oregon State, and answer questions from the audience.

Panelists include senior Nikia Braxton, a member of OSU's University Honors College, president of the OSU chapter of Delta Sigma Theta, and a 1993 graduate of Benson Polytechnical High School; Jody Brooks, a master's degree candidate in health and human performance from Columbia, S.C.; Tory Campbell, a junior in political science, president of the Residential Housing Association, and 1995 graduate of Marshall High School; and Charlee Body, a senior in human development and family science, coordinator of OSU's Black Cultural Center, and a 1993 graduate of North Salem High School.

Information also will be provided on admissions, financial aid, housing and other topics by request. For more information about the event, contact Louan Johnson at 541-737-4668, or Paul James, 541-737-9032.

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Louan Johnson, 541-737-4668