|ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI – Eighty local high school students spent a week of spring break visiting seven Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) through the annual college tour sponsored by Kwame Foundation.|
Two of the students – Gateway STEM High School seniors Rianna Roberts and Mikayla Burt – applied to and were accepted by all seven colleges while participating in the college tour earlier this month.
“The Kwame Foundation recognizes the value and importance of a college degree,” said Sonja Branscomb, project administrator at Kwame Building Group. “Our goal is to increase the number of African-American students who enroll in and graduate from a college or university. We hope this experience will motivate and inspire students to achieve their goals and aspirations.”
Students attending the college tour were from the Clayton, Hazelwood, Parkway, Riverview Gardens, St. Louis Public Schools and University City public school districts; and from Cardinal Ritter College Prep High School, Lutheran North High School, and Mary Institute & St. Louis Country Day School. The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis sponsored 20 students, and a student from Jackson TN also joined the tour.
The students visited seven southern HBCU universities and colleges including Arkansas Pine Bluff, Grambling University, Jackson State University, Southern University, Xavier University, Bethune Cookman University, and Florida A & M University.
“It’s one thing to see the schools online but even better when you get to be on campus,” said Jason Bagsby, a senior at Cardinal Ritter Prep High School.
The college tour introduced students to campus life and included a series of informational sessions. Tour leaders arranged on-site visits with college officials, matching the students’ educational goals and career aspirations with institutions of higher learning. The students also spent a day relaxing at Daytona Beach.
“We support the students as they explore their future beyond their own neighborhoods and communities,” said Branscomb. “We want them to realize that their life goals are attainable. Without question, this tour is a life changing experience.”
The Kwame Foundation organized the weeklong bus trip and provided transportation and chaperones. The student cost to participate was just $400.
“My experience with the Kwame Foundation has been great. They make you feel at home,” said Jaleea Hudson Wilson, a senior at McClure North High School who has attended the college tour the past two years. “But I won’t be going on the tour next year though, because I’ll be in college.”
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Source: Kwame Foundation – News