District 88 celebrates Black History Month

To view photo captions, click on the images above. Photos by Addison Trail junior Clara Etheridge (except the last one at bottom right).

On Feb. 24, Addison Trail hosted an AA Con (African American Conference) to recognize and celebrate Black History Month.

During the event, about 80 students from Addison Trail and Willowbrook attended a session with six speakers, who presented about the importance of heritage, motivation, using your gifts, discipline and having a coach/mentor. They also met with a black author, enjoyed lunch in the auditorium that was decorated with items to celebrate Black History Month and went to an awards ceremony that honored black staff members at Addison Trail, as well as senior students who are members of the school’s BEYOND Club. That group provides mentorship and academic support for black students to enable them to thrive holistically in high school and BEYOND. See images from the conference above.

BEYOND is led by Addison Trail Student Success Coordinator VaLarie Humphrey, who also coordinated the conference.

“The goal of hosting AA Con was to help the students develop self-love and understand that the ceiling is really the floor of the next level – sometimes we forget we can make our dreams a reality,” Humphrey said. “I want the students to realize that no matter what happens, you can move beyond your past and your mistakes. I want them to be proud to be a part of District 88 and see that the district cares about them and has limitless opportunities to prepare them for ‘BEYOND’ high school.”

Humphrey works to create a space for black students, but also wants them to know they are part of the Addison Trail community and belong. She added the conference might expand next year to include sessions for parents.

District 88 will host more events in recognition of Black History Month this spring. More information about Black History Month can be found at https://blackhistorymonth.gov.