LINCROFT, NJ (Jan. 29, 2018) – Local students are invited to a free day of networking, career development and scholarship opportunities on Feb. 23 during the fourth annual Minority Male Initiative conference, hosted by Brookdale Community College and the Monmouth/Ocean County Pan Hellenic Council.

The free conference, titled “Defining Your Career Pathway,” will offer career-oriented workshops designed specifically for local high school juniors, seniors and current Brookdale students. It is co-sponsored by Hackensack Meridian Health, the FirstEnergy Foundation and Brookdale’s Educational Opportunity Fund program.

Students are invited to network with area professionals and learn about specific jobs offered in five separate career clusters: STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics); health care and health science; business and social science; communications media; and theater. Workshop leaders will also provide guidance on the educational pathways that lead to those careers.

The keynote address will be provided by Stephanie James Wilson, executive director of the New Jersey Amistad Commission. The Amistad Commission, a division of the state Department of Education, was established in 2002 to help incorporate African American history into the state’s K-12 social studies curriculum.

The conference is open to local high school juniors, seniors and Brookdale students. Unique scholarship opportunities are available for eligible attendees. Pre-registration is required. High school students should contact their school’s guidance department to register and receive a scholarship application. Brookdale students should contact Lisa Savage at

The conference will be held in Brookdale’s Warner Student Life Center, 765 Newman Springs Road, Lincroft. Parking is in Lots 6 and 7. Check-in begins at 8 a.m.

“This conference gives male students of color the opportunity to learn more about their career of interest and to network with professionals that can help them pursue their dreams,” said Fidel Wilson, associate Brookdale professor and a co-organizer of the conference.

“From scholarships to career planning to one-on-one mentoring, we want to connect students with as many resources as possible as they prepare to take the next step in their academic journey.”

The Minority Male Initiative was established in 2015 to address widening achievement gaps between minority male students and their white counterparts. According to a 2016 report by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), white Americans aged 25 to 29 held bachelor’s degrees at more than double the rate of African Americans and nearly triple the rate of Hispanic Americans of the same age.