Spring break is normally a time for rest and relaxation. Some people take time to catch up on rest at home or on vacation, or just enjoy the fact that for a 5-day business (or school) week, they literally can do anything or nothing at all.
However, students who are involved in programming via the LEAD Foundation as well as affiliated groups usually do something a little different from the “norm”. Students as early as 6th grade to high school seniors making their final official visits, the nonprofit typically takes time during the break to go on their college tour, one of the key components of their programming for middle and high school students.
“This year’s tour takes a little work, but it is worth it”, notes the foundation’s executive director, Michael Woodward, Sr. He is serving as the lead coordinator for this year’s tour.
The tour is taking students to a blend of schools that include PWI’s (predominantly white institutions) and HBCU’s (Historically Black Colleges and Universities). The campuses that are a part of this year’s tour include Fort Valley State University, Albany State University, Florida State University, and Florida A&M University.
Receiving and understanding key components of the college process ranging from the importance of one’s transcript, test scores (SAT or ACT), and other measures related to admission and application is the fact students get to see the campuses for themselves. Often-times, as is the case with any of their tours, they have an opportunity to meet with former foundation program students who are attending the campuses.
“We are very fortunate to help place and support a number of students at these (and other) campuses we are scheduled to visit (and have visited), including a number of whom who are now alumni (of these and other colleges and universities)”, Woodward adds.
As is often the case with their tours, there is an added educational and history-related component. In building off of last year’s trip to campuses in North Carolina (where they visited the International Civil Rights Center and Museum in Greensboro, NC), students are visiting the Black Archives as well as one of the museums which provides a snapshot of the challenges of slavery.
“In visiting one of the former plantations, it provides a sense of the challenges people fought through for us to get to this point, as well as the things we have to continue to fight for in order our communities and society to be better than it is today”, Woodward emphasizes from our conversation on March 14, 2016.
The cost of the tour is $275 per student. The cost includes travel (on a charter bus), hotel accommodations (which provides a complimentary breakfast) and refreshments on the bus. Students are to bring additional funds for their lunch and dinner. For additional details related to the tour, including having your middle or high school student travel with the foundation, readers are encouraged to visit their website (click HERE for details). Likewise, if readers are interested in donating to support a student to travel, they are able to do so (click HERE to make a donation), or you may contact the foundation via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone (678-632-5323).
Providing access to higher education is not just a part of the foundation’s regular programming (via their male-mentoring and leadership development programs), but through their spring break college tour. Doing so provides students with the hands-on exposure and learning needed in order to understand their 4-year collegiate options, as well as the work it entails in making it a reality. With their proven track record of placing students (either attending or accepted) to institutions of higher learning including Boston University, Howard University, North Carolina A& T State University, Wake Forest University, Morehouse College, LSU, and others (including the ones they are visiting this spring), the foundation continues to do its part in developing tomorrow’s leaders today.
This spring, LEADers go on tour; in this case, they are touring their options today that may be their realities for tomorrow.