African American Spring Open House 2024

On Wednesday March 20, 2024, the Center for Community Engagement at Goshen College welcomed high school students from St. Joe and Elkhart County to the first African American Spring Open House.

African American Spring Open House Facilitators (left to right) Spencer Castillo, Todd Johnson, Jakyra Green, Kennedy Stewart, Mariela Esparza, Lawrence Giden, Kaitlyn Johnson, Aja Ellington, Dr. Regina Stolzfus, and Solidia Brown. Not pictured: Jesse Loewen, Alex Brito, Isis Espinoza, Triest Fisher, and Billy Easton.

Specialized Community Engagement coordinator, Lawrence Giden, collaborated with Black Student Union and faculty members in welcoming high school students from St. Joe and Elkhart County to Goshen College.

Black Student Union: President Jakyra Green, Vice President Kennedy Stewart, Mariela Esparza, Isis Espinoza

Faculty & Staff: Aja Ellington, Alex Brito, Billy Easton, Jesse Loewen, Solidia Brown, Spencer Castillo, Todd Johnson, Triest Fisher, and Dr. Regina Stoltzfus

Students came from various high schools from around the area and were given a warm welcome from our beloved, Kaitlyn Johnson and Solida Brown, Goshen College student and assistant to academic programs, and our Black Student Union affinity group. At 10 a.m. students were invited to sit on Wednesday’s convocation at Church Chapel about Study-Service Term (SST). Followed by sessions including, “Why should I go to college?”, “What is a Student Activist?”, and what aid is available to the African-American community looking to attend college.


The Open House included a campus tour that showcased Goshen College and its diverse campus. High school students had the opportunity to meet other students from various high schools and spark a conversation on the topic of college. We, the Center for Community Engagement, want to push for a college-going mindset. Our goal is for students nearing graduation from high school to believe that there is a spot for them in higher education. Goshen College is a local private liberal arts college with a 94% acceptance rate and an average cost after aid of $16,000. We are just one option from thousands around the country. The Center for Community Engagement strives to increase student enrollment for higher education and supports student activism.


We want to thank all students and staff who attended the 2024 Spring Open House for African-American students. To our GC Black Student Union and staff & faculty, thank you! We appreciate your willingness to make Goshen College a welcoming and inclusive campus.