Theresa Price has made it her personal mission to change the education perception and outlook for the underserved and underrepresented youth of her community and beyond.
Thousands of Black College Expo Alumni credit her for showing them the way to Academic Excellence
N.W.A?s album titled “Straight Outta of Compton,” holds more meaning for those born in a city most known for its hip-hop groups and gangsta rappers. Theresa Price, founder of the National College Resources Foundation (NCRF) and the Black College Expo, speaks proudly about being born and raised in Compton, California, a city that is notorious for gang violence with little hope for inspiring students to get a higher education. Since 1999, Price has made it her personal mission to change the education perception and outlook for the underserved and underrepresented youth of her community and beyond.
Price, who was heavily rooted in Compton, is the youngest of nine children born to Isaac and Ethel Randle for which she named a scholarship in their honor. She was always encouraged to attend college from an early age. She attended California State University, Long Beach, graduating with a bachelor?s degree in broadcast journalism, and a minor in speech communications. While in school, she was offered a part-time job at KACE 103.9 FM working as a promotions coordinator, while interning as a news assistant doing on-air news briefs and public service announcements. Price also had another broadcast internship in television at CBS Channel 2, working as an assistant for news correspondent Kim Mariner. Upon Price?s graduation, her mentor William Shearer offered her a full time job as a community assistance line coordinator, where she would help the inner city residents with resources and information. Price did well and was recruited to do sales for Inner City Station the legendary 1230AM KGFJ, where she began a career selling radio commercials. Being a top account executive in radio, Price was promoted to retail, national and general sales manager. That?s when radio stations, KFI-KOST-KACE (Cox Broadcasting) came knocking and recruited Price to join their company as a senior account executive where she received multiple awards and generated over two million in annual revenue.
After repeated requests from her top clients to manage their companies, Price started her own marketing firm, Jabez 3 Enterprises, Inc. developing and executing marketing plans for such clients as UniverSoul Circus, Chino Hills Ford, General Mills, Nike, Pepsi, Kellogg?s, Urban Works, Sean John, Pimple Eraser, Codeblack, Polychrome Pictures and several other entertainment companies and recording artists. Her professional contacts from over 30 years in radio and business have now become sponsors for her second venture developing NCRF, a non-profit organization hosting The College Expo events around the country. She always wanted to make a difference in the lives of young people and built a legacy by helping more youth attend college and establish careers. She found that connecting students with college recruiters would help the enrollment process. In 1999, the first Black College Expo launched at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Thousands of students showed up for a chance to make that connection. Thereafter, NCRF was established as the non-profit umbrella for all of the programs.
Sixteen years later, Price has touched the lives of more than 400,000 students, who have earned Bachelor?s, Master?s and Doctoral degrees with NCRF?s support. Over $500,000 in scholarships has been awarded through NCRF?s Black College Expo events held in Oakland, Houston, Atlanta, DC/Maryland and New York. In addition, NCRF?s College Expos and outreach efforts have helped secure more than 50 million in scholarships for students to attend college. The organization is duplicating its annual success with newly launched events, S.T.E.A.M. and Latino College Expo this year. Price recalls over 35,000 attendees lined up outside of the first Black College Expo. “When we held our first expo it was amazing to see people standing in line for hours trying to get in, and it wasn?t for a concert—it was for education. “That moment I knew people had a hunger for information for higher education,” says Price. Student alumni visit the office regularly, coming back to volunteer and thank Price for holding their hand through the complicated process of applying and finding financing for their college education.
Price has touched the lives of more than 400,000 students, who have earned Bachelor?s, Master?s and Doctoral degrees with NCRF?s support.
At the expo, Price is like the Oprah for education. ”You get accepted on the spot!” “You get your application fees waived!” and “You get scholarships on the spot!” are words that have been heard annually at every College Expo for nearly two decades. “I am a product of the College Expo in 2009, where I received a full scholarship to Clark Atlanta University on the spot,” said Lorin Crawford. “I attended the College Expo and received $140,000 in scholarship money with offers to attend Alabama State and Virginia State,” said Alicia Bell. Gabriel Robinson said, “I got accepted into (4) colleges while attending the College Expo.” There are many other alumni that are grateful to Price for helping them through the process. In the past few years, Price has received numerous awards and commendations across the country for her work in the community and for her commitment to youth and their education. She was recently awarded the Humanitarian Award of the Year from Stevie Wonder?s Radio Station KJLH and she was asked by Steve Harvey Radio Network to become a collaborative partner of their annual Neighborhood Awards (formerly known as the Hoodie Awards), hosting a three day College Expo during the event.
NCRF works with many collegiate partners, specifically HBCU?s along with other universities, who will accept juniors and seniors on the spot with a review of their unofficial high school transcript and SAT/ACT scores. These partners will now include Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI) with the launch of the new Latino College Expo. Price says, “Why not? There are Hispanic Serving Institutions who have programs and opportunities for Latino students and Latino students need to know about them. This helps build our communities and creates strong economic foundations so communities can depend on themselves and not the government.” Since the first college expo event, enrollment numbers have significantly increased from 10 to 50 percent for minority students attending HBCU?s. She expects the same type of increase will come for HSI, especially with the Development Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act, also known as the “Dream Act,” which allows some undocumented students to apply for and receive state-based financial aid and institutional scholarships.
This comes in line with President Obama?s 2020 goal to reform higher education, so America would once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world, to include first generation, low-income and adult learners. NCRF/The College Expo was developed to serve as a vital link between minorities and college admissions. NCRF?s overall mission is to curtail the high school dropout rate and increase degree and/or certificate enrollment. This is being achieved in many ways through programs such as “The Movement,” an enrichment program providing intervention, mentorship, tutoring and guidance for students seeking post-secondary pursuits. “Base 11” is a pilot program established for STEM based education where students are learning hands-on about the aerospace industry. They are building a plane as part of their curriculum. These comprehensive outreach activities and linked learning applications methods will continue to produce competitive and productive citizens who will positively influence their communities and our nation. “Nobody can take your education from you. That?s why the gift of education is a gift for eternity,” Price says.
The success of NCRF could not be a reality without the support of its partners and sponsors. Four honorees will be recognized at the Second Annual 2014 Winter Wonderland GALA Fundraiser scheduled for Thursday, December 11th. It will be held at the California African American Museum, 600 State Drive-Exposition Park, Los Angeles, CA 90037. The guests of honor are Carl A. Ballton, Managing Director & Deputy Group Head at MUFG Union Bank, Attorney Adrienne Konigar-Macklin, School Board Member, Pomona Unified School District, Foster Stanback, an independent philanthropist promoting aerospace education and Councilman Curren D. Price, Jr. from the Los Angeles 9th Council District who has contributed time, resources and financial support in helping NCRF, and to further Theresa Prices? goal to connect students directly to colleges and certificate programs. “We want to salute trailblazers who have truly supported our programs and have made a difference in helping our communities strive,” Price concludes. The reception starts at 6:30 p.m. and the awards ceremony at 7:45 p.m.
If you would like to help give the gift of education during this season of giving, you are invited to attend the Gala or make a donation. For more information on how you can contribute, please visit the NCRF?s website at www.thecollegeexpo.org, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (909) 396-0151.