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Black students advance following West L.A. commencement

CULVER CITY — During West Los Angeles College’s 49th commencement ceremony June 6, students connected through ancestral lineage and the pride displayed on their Kente cloth embroidered sashes, walked across the stage into their next journey in life as African-American graduates.

Included in West’s class of black grads were science, technology, engineering and math scholar Yasmin Eady, presidential scholar Erika Clarke, Army veteran Walter Broom and basketball standout Tawvan Carryl.

As evidence of West L.A.’s commitment to the success of its African-American students, the college offers several tailored support programs including Black Scholars Leading and Energizing African American Students to Research and Knowledge (LEARN), which provides tutoring, mentoring and academic advisement.

With assistance from LEARN, Eady experienced a 10-day study trip to China, represented students at a Los Angeles Community College board meeting and was accepted to North Carolina A&T State University.

In fact, 21 out of the 24 black scholar graduates have been accepted into prestigious universities including UCLA, UC Davis, Johns Hopkins, Tuskegee and several California State University campuses.

Eady is a California native and Fairfax High alumnus.

In an area where there are very few women, let alone African-Americans, Eady was able to shine as a computer science major at West L.A. College. She will continue as a computer science and math major at North Carolina A&T.

Clarke also exemplifies African-American student success at West L.A. College. In the fall, she will be attending Cal State Dominguez Hills with a $15,000 presidential scholarship, one of the highest and most competitive scholarships the school offers..

When Army veteran Broom set his sights on West L.A. College, he was returning to school to start a nonprofit.

“I’m a proud business owner of Edrica’s House of Hope [a sober living facility]. Through my studies here at West, I’ve been able to take and pass the state certification,” Broom said.

With help and encouragement from the West L.A. College Veteran Center, Broom is on his way to UCLA to finish his degree in nonprofit entrepreneurship.

Tawvan Carryl is a product of Crenshaw High where he was part of the Cougar basketball team. Carryl brought his talents to West L.A. College, looking to grow not only as an athlete but as a student. His efforts were recognized at the West L.A. athletic department Westpy Award ceremony and by his acceptance, with a scholarship, to the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Trinity Elliott is a student intern at West Los Angeles College.

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