Akosia Robinson took her three children on tours of her alma mater, Morgan State University, hoping to spark an interest and have them follow in her footsteps and attend the historically Black university.

None of them have chosen the Baltimore campus Ms. Robinson attended, but she says she supports their dreams and goals, wherever they may take them.

“I want them to follow their passion,” the local mom shared.

While he didn’t complete his studies there, her son Christopher Thomas, 20, attended Cal State Fullerton. Another son, Cameron Thomas, 18, is currently attending San Francisco State, majoring in Business. Her youngest, Sefani Robinson, is a senior at Sacramento Charter High School and is awaiting her chance to go off to college. Ms. Robinson has been accepted to more than 10 schools. Among those are UCLA, San Jose State, UC Berkeley and HBCUs like Hampton University in Virginia and Clark Atlanta University, which she visited as an eighth grader.

“She has many choices,” the elder Ms. Robinson said.

She says financial aid and knowing what resources are available have been a blessing to the family. All three of her children were awarded Cal Grants, assistance from the California Student Aid Commission for students pursuing an undergraduate degree or vocational or career training, that doesn’t have to be paid back. Sefani Robinson has been awarded a Cal Grant A, based on her GPA, and can use the money for tuition and fees at any California school.

“She has many choices,” the elder Ms. Robinson said.

Ms. Robinson says paying for college can be a challenge for families, especially single parents like herself. Finances can be a challenge, she says, but they don’t have to keep young people from going to college. She urges parents to do their research and says success will take lots of patience and perseverance.

There are resources available to help your children go to the school of their choice. We have to let our children know that it’s a reality. Never squash their dreams,” she says.

College has always been discussed in her household. She also made it a practice to be active in their school life– serving on campus site councils and attending school board meetings.

“Early on, I knew that education would open doors for them. I knew that if they were going to have access to their dreams and the things that they wanted, it was going to come through education.”

Ms. Robinson herself earned bachelor’s of science and master’s degrees from the Sacramento Theological Institute after leaving Morgan State in her sophomore year.

Her experiences aiding her children in their educational pursuits have prompted Ms. Robinson to start a coaching business in which she’ll help other families “navigate the same waters.”

“That’s really a passion of mine,” she said.

March 2, is the priority financial aid filing deadline for most colleges and universities and the absolute deadline for submission of a Cal Grant application. For more information, visit www.csac.ca.gov.

By Genoa Barrow | OBSERVER Senior Staff Writer

Photo By Larry Dalton