Applicants participate in multicultural fair


Two prospective students play a game of rock-paper-scissors at the Multicultural Fair. The event was hosted by the Student Ambassador program with the purpose of creating an inclusive environment for applicant families of color. Credit: Caitlin Chung.

Caitlin Chung

As a way to share the experience of being a student of color on campus, 34 Student Ambassadors hosted a Multicultural Fair on Jan. 26 for prospective students and their families.

Parents got a chance to sit down with the Director of Admissions Aaron Mieszczanski and the Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Janine Jones to discuss the logistics behind the administration process while the students mingled with the ambassadors to learn more about the school.
Associate Director of Admission Oscar Cancio ’04 said he feels a close personal connection to the event, which has occurred for the past few years.

“When I was a student here at Harvard-Westlake the number of students who self-identified as students of color wasn’t a whole lot,” Cancio said. “Over the course of the last 10-15 years, we certainly have been trying to make strides and bringing in more students of color, and this is one of the events to do just that.”

Ava Payman ’19, one of the senior Student Ambassador Co-Chairs, said that she thought the fair went well and that she enjoyed the event as a whole.
“I feel like the event was much smoother and the ambassadors had more of a feel of what was going to happen,” Payman said. “The kids were more involved. I think it was good that we talked to them before and we gave them tours because we got to know them and we stayed with the same group so they got comfortable.”

Many ambassadors said they enjoyed the fair because it was different from many of the other Student Ambassador events.
“I really liked that I was able to meet a lot of kids from a lot of different schools in an intimate environment,” student ambassador Lyon Chung ’21 said.” It was a very special time for us to bond.”

Calista Chu ’20 also said that the fair was one of her favorite Student Ambassador events.

“The environment that was created during the event was very lively,” Chu said. “I definitely had a great time and many others seemed to be having a good time as well.”

The event provided an environment in which applicants could meet the school community and partake in the experience, Cancio said
“It is a place where parents of color mingle with one another and other students of color mingle with one another and get to know each other.”