SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Dozens of African-American Springfield High School students set off on a journey Saturday, to find which college they’d like to attend. 43 students are traveling down south to tour nine historically black colleges and universities.
Ronn Johnson, the President of the MLK Jr. Family services, said, “It’s an opportunity for them to understand that college is attainable for them. We have an 85% college acceptance and attendance rate amongst the young people that participate on this tour, which is pretty significant.”
The tour is organized by the Martin Luther King Jr. community center in Springfield, and if a student and their family is unable to afford this trip the MLK center finds a way to help them pay for their education
The program has been so popular over the past 33 years that they actually had a waiting list this year of students hoping to go one the trip.
Eric Estrada told 22News, “I wanted to see if i wanted to be able to leave Springfield and like the on-campus feeling or just leaving the area and exploring everywhere else.”
For many students it’s a chance to see opportunities they may not have otherwise realized they could have.
Johnson said, “To see other young people, who have come from circumstances maybe very similar to their own, it’s an opportunity to see the excelling in college, to have opportunities to talk with them and understand that this is something that is attainable for them also.’
Daeja Allen told 22News, “I’m really thinking about going to Clark Atlanta University, it’s my dream schools. I was really thinking criminal justice i don’t know which field yet but criminal justice is my top major right now.’
During the six day trip the students will visit nine colleges in four different southern states.