In the fall of the 1995-96 school year, a group of graduation seniors from Franklin and Garfield Hich Schools called a meeting with Mr. O.L. Mitchell the Activities Coordinator at Franklin to discuss their post-graduation plans. Mr. Mitchell invited Dr. Gary, a Seattle School District Middle School Administrator who had been involved in the recruitment of black teachers to the Seattle School District and Mrs. Dolores booker, a Franklin High School Councelor to participate. The twenty-two femal students were concerned about their future after High School.
Many meetings were held and many alternatives were explored. After a series of meetings were held, the stuents began to open up and talk about the many problems thath they were confronted with. Problems such as, below average graduation within their graduation class, poor grade point averages prohibiting them from attending white Universities, not meeting white college course requirements, limited career opportunities after hight school, often they were the first in their families to graduated from High School. Plus no financial aide, lack of support from school counseling services and the list goes on.
The students wee encouraged by Mr. Mitchell, Mrs. Booker and Dr. Gary to come up with ideas and recommendations to help them and other students who were confronted with the same issues. They also challenged the students to come up with recommendations and solutions, given that only a few months remained before graduation. The final recommendation were settled and prepared during Spring Break, which was the student participation in the Black University College Tour. Twenty-two female students, Mr. Mitchell, Dr. Gary and chaperones visited twenty-two Black Colleges, in the South and Southwest. Of those students, twenty enrolled in Black Colleges, Community Colleges and Professional Schools. The program was a success and continues today. A Board of Directors was formed and a State/Federal 501(c) (3) was established for those who wished to support and participate in the program.
The program offers the unique opportunity to increase the awareness of the benefits and available choices of attending an institute of higher learning for high school students of color, some of whom may be economically and socially disadvantaged. We offer After School tutoring and mentoring to help students get prepared.
For students who have already begun to think about college, the tour will answer many questions in regards to academic programs, campus environment and financial options available to them, helping the student determine the institute best suited to their needs.
For the student who has not given serious thought to attending college, we offer College exposure by taking students a Traditional and Historicall Black College and University (HBCU) tour which will offer an up-close and personal look at the advantages of attending an institute of higher learning. It provides a clearer and positive insight on what they should be doing through out their high school years to be prepared for acceptance and entry into a college of their choice. During the tour participants attend approximately two colleges per day. At each College and / or University the group receives an orientation where they are presented the schools academic programs, and expectations. Information about admissions requirements, high school requirements, and financial aid are also discussed during this during this session. The tour participants are then engaged in a question and answer period, which adds further clarity about the schools and the social/cultural environment of the school and its surrounding area. This session is followed by a brief walking tour of the campus. The walking tour allows the students to get a sense of the campus, student life and a fit for the individual’s personal preferences with regards to ones ability to function successfully within a given environment. The tour offers the unique opportunity to increase the awareness of the benefits of and available choices of attending an institute of higher learning for high school students of color, some of whom may be economically and socially disadvantaged.
To offer a program which provides High School Students an opportunity and first hand knowledge and experience that leads to making wise and informed decisions today in support of establishing and attaining their educational goals of the future.
To instill in the students that education is important for success in life now and the future.
To support students in remaining focused throughout their high school years with the intent of improving their
knowledge and ability of being prepared to attend an institute of higher learning.
To provide the students a firsthand experience and awareness of college living and social benefits of college.
Create and maintain an intergrated infrastructure that promotes and ensures success.
Create and maintain partnerships with communities, programs institutions, and agencies.
Build and promote a culture that encourages personal development and growth.
Provide resources and guidance in support of students choices that enable them to become productive and viable members and contributors to our communities.
To motivate students to take action in regards to their future and the educational options availabe to them.
We have found that the exposure generated by participation on the tour has helped to demystify the college preparation and experience rendering attendance at an institute of higher learning more appealing and accessible. Student's are more motivated to succeed in high school. This is a year round program.
FORTY STUDENTS FROM THE GREATER SEATTLE AREA AND OTHER REGIONS OF THE COUNTRY WILL HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO VISIT EIGHTEEN HISTORICALLY BLACK COLLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES(HBCU). THE HBCU TOUR IS SONSORED BY THE NORTHWEST BLACK PIONEERS. THE COLLEGE TOUR WILL INCLUDE VISITS TO SIX SOUTHERN AND SOUTHEASTERN STATES INCLUDING WASHINGTON D.C.