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SCSD Students Become College Ready through Annual HBCU Tour

This is a photo of a group of students gathered around a sign for Bethune-Cookman University. This February, 27 SCSD high school students, representing Corcoran, Henninger, ITC, Nottingham, and PSLA at Fowler, spent their Midwinter Recess out of state. Out of states, to be exact.
As part of the district’s annual Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Tour, the students traveled through Maryland, Virginia, Washington, DC, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. Over the course of a week, they visited a dozen schools, including Morgan State University, Bethune-Cookman University, Benedict College, North Carolina A&T State University, Howard University, Clark University, Norfolk State University, Hampton University, Florida A&M University, Spelman College, Morehouse College, and Livingstone College.
“My favorite part of the trip was seeing the colleges,” ITC junior Nevaeh Corriders-Howard shared. “I loved seeing the environment and the students walking around. I loved the way the colleges looked and learning about the history of them. I also liked when we were done with the tour and got back on the bus. Being able to talk to other people on the trip about random things really gave me a sense of community among us that I really enjoyed.”
On the tours, they were invited to tour the campuses, ask questions, and even enjoy meals in campus dining halls. At some of the schools, multiple students received college acceptances on the spot! Some students went into the tour undecided about their anticipated college major and came out of it with a better sense of what they hope to pursue. Others said the tour allowed them to set their sights on colleges they wouldn’t have otherwise considered.
“If I hadn’t been on the tour, I wouldn’t have known about colleges such as Morgan State, Bethune-Cookman and Livingstone, mainly because they aren’t really talked about as much as colleges like FAMU, A&T and Spelman,” Nevaeh added. “The HBCU Tour helped me by allowing me to see multiple schools in a short amount of time and being able to get a lot of information about those schools. It helped open my eyes to the multiple experiences and possibilities that I can experience while going to a HBCU.”
For Nevaeh, who has aspirations of attending medical school, she felt a draw to the Howard University campus.
“What stood out to me was how the campus looks and the academics that come with it,” she explained. “They have a medical school and I want to become an OB/GYN, so going to a medical school is necessary. I can see myself attending Howard when I’m done with high school and when I apply, I’m confident in getting accepted.”
Visiting so many schools in such a short time frame meant a grueling travel schedule – but it was intermixed with special social activities, including visiting Busch Gardens, enjoying a Medieval Times dinner show, touring the National Museum of African American History, and going shopping at the International Outlets in Orlando!
This year, for the first time ever, a second group of students will be participating in the tour – which will take place over the April Spring Recess. Students in grades 10-12 are invited to apply to join next year’s tour. Registration typically takes place during the Parent University Family Engagement event in October each year, or students may speak with their school counselor for more information. We’re so proud of these students who spent their school break becoming #SCSDCollegeReady!

Anthony Q. Davis, Superintendent
725 Harrison Street
Syracuse, NY 13210
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