How did Elvis Kahoro, the son of a truck driver and a retirement home aide in Kennesaw, Ga., end up attending Pomona College, an elite liberal arts school over 2,000 miles from his hometown? The total cost of tuition, fees and room and board at Pomona, east of Los Angeles, runs over $67,000 per year. Fewer than 10 percent of applicants are admitted.

The story begins with Mr. Kahoro’s achievements — 13 Advanced Placement classes and over 1,000 hours of community service — but hardly ends there. To lure Mr. Kahoro, who was born in Kenya, Pomona went to extraordinary lengths. It flew him to campus during the fall of his senior year, paying for all his travel expenses. After he was accepted, financial aid covered close to the full cost of attendance, and he has never had to take out a loan; the college even gives him extra money for textbooks and cross-country trips to visit his family.

Pomona’s demographics do not match America’s: Low-income and black students like Mr. Kahoro remain underrepresented. Even so, according to a new analysis by The New York Times, Pomona is one of just a few elite colleges nationwide where more than 10 percent of noninternational students in recent incoming classes were black and more than 20 percent were Hispanic.

Affirmative Action, African American Education, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMNTed Soqui/Corbis, via Getty Images | Photo Credit


NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY & CULTURE | WASHINGTON, DC

The National Museum of African American History and Culture is the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history, and culture. It was established by Act of Congress in 2003, following decades of efforts to promote and highlight the contributions of African Americans. To date, the Museum has collected more than 36,000 artifacts and nearly 100,000 individuals have become charter members. The Museum opened to the public on September 24, 2016, as the 19th and newest museum of the Smithsonian Institution. (Website).


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KOLUMN Magazine celebrates the lives of People of Color by giving our world texture.