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Rising Knights HBCU College Tour

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by Lakya Jackson BMHS MEO student

Historically Black College and University Tour Experience

Flying on a plane for the first time would’ve been the most exciting thing about my Rising Knights HBCU College Tour if I had not visited six Historically Black Colleges and Universities for the first time as well. There was a constant adrenaline rush from the time we boarded our flight March 27th until the time we landed back at home April 4th. We visited the states of Mississippi, Louisiana, Georgia and Texas where we toured six HBCUs and participated in recreational activities such as laser tagging, shopping, a Mardi Gras world tour, the Bulls vs. Pelicans basketball game and sightseeing.
 
The schools on our itinerary were Prairie View A&M University, Texas Southern University, Alcorn State University, Xavier University Of Louisiana, Dillard University and Southern University College. At each campus, we were able to tour athletic centers, cafeterias, bookstores, dorm rooms, libraries, chapels and more. We also discussed scholarship and admission requirements, tuition costs, origins of the colleges and teacher to student ratio. Lillian Facione, an Xavier University alumni who graduated in 2014 as a Doctor Of Pharmacy, told her story of graduating a year late due to time management struggles in school. “That’s when I realized I just had to do what I needed to do in order to finish. I asked for help, I followed a very detailed schedule, etc. Failure was not an option for me.” After falling short, Lillian began to understand that success requires hard work. Facione is now currently employed at Laniappe Pharmacy in Baton Rouge, LA which is owned by Eric Peters who is also an Xavier alumni. Facione’s advice for young people on a pursuit to prosperity includes recognizing your weaknesses and to address them.
 

Amazing Experience for Students

On our tour, we also completed volunteer work while staying in Louisiana for a program called Love in Action Outreach. Love in Action is a program that aids the less fortunate by providing dry, boxed and canned goods. They also provide clothes, shoes, hats and belts for all ages and genders at a very low price. Our job while volunteering was to fold and then separate the donated clothes into their assigned bins and to stock and organize the food shelves. It was a great experience and it was nice to be able to help out a community almost 1,000 miles from my own.

Touring the campuses and meeting all of the minority students on a pursuit to prosperity was so inspirational. I felt like I had finally fit in at a school setting at these colleges. I was surrounded by people who looked like me, worked just as hard as me and wanted to beat the odds by obtaining a higher secondary education. This tour was an experience every high school student should be able to acquire because it goes beyond a teacher’s “Do your homework so you can go to college!” advice and shows reality. This tour allowed me to gain memories, personality traits and knowledge that I will be able to use for a lifetime and, for that, I am truly thankful.

 

For more information:

Michelle Hendrix-NoraMichelle Hendrix-Nora
McNeel Intermediate School Assistant Principal
BMHS Knightingales Volunteer Co-Coach
Rising Knights HBCU College Tour
608-361-3811
mhendrixnora@sdb.k12.wi.us

Regina HendrixRegina Hendrix
Help Yourself Programs Director, Beloit College
BMHS Knightingales Co-Coach
Rising Knights HBCU College Tour
608-312-3749
rhendrix@sdb.k12.wi.us