2003-05-09 / Community

Sponsors College Tour...

Sponsors College Tour...

Sponsors College Tour...

During the spring recess week (April 21 – April 25), Rockaway Development and Revitalization Corporation’s (RDRC) Beacon Program at the Reverend Thomas Mason Community Center embarked on its 4th Annual "Historically Black College Tour."

Last year, due to a shortage of discretionary funds, RDRC was unable to conduct a college tour. With enormous contributions from RDRC staff and an even more determined Mason Center "Youth Council" we were able to bring the college tour back on track. Beacon Program funds and a small fee charged to participants were allocated in order to produce a successful college tour.

The college tour offered high school aged participants the opportunity to begin their college selection process. In the span of a week, the group visited 13 campuses. Traveling from New York to Atlanta Georgia, the students were treated to the various aspects campus life at each school as well as the rich history that each school embodied.

Andrenna Gibson of RDRC’s Beacon Program staff was the tour coordinator. As the coordinator of the tour, Ms. Gibson has stressed the importance of higher education, especially at a Historically Black College or University (HBCU). HBCU’s, unlike any other college or university, enrich African-American students with their rich history and ability to provide supportive services to their student body. As Ms. Gibson stated, "a student who graduates from one of these illustrious colleges become a well-rounded individual able to compete in the workforce and graduate school."

The tour began with a visit to the first HBCU, Lincoln University in Pennsylvania. The students were amazed to learn that Lincoln was located minutes from the "Mason Dixon Line", and was a part of the historic underground railroad, as was Hampton University.

The next school visited was Delaware State University. This school along with North Carolina A&T received the most favorable reactions from the participants because of their academics and campus life. At Johnson C. Smith University (JCSU), another well-received institution, participants were able to realize that their dreams and aspirations can become reality. Former RDRC college tour participants, who are currently enrolled at JCSU and are Rockaway residents, greeted the students. The impact that these JCSU students had on the participants was overwhelming.

The participants returned home with a renewed sense of purpose. It was now about business and putting forth the best effort to get good grades and becoming a better student.

The colleges that participated in this years tour were Lincoln University, Delaware State University, Norfolk University, Hampton University, Virginia Union University, Spelman College, Morehouse College, Clarke Atlanta University, Morris Brown, North Carolina A&T, Johnson C. Smith University, Howard University and Morgan State University.

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