CHICAGO (March 27, 2012)--This year marks the PUSH for Excellence 14h Annual HBCU Tour. March 31st through April 7th eighty promising high school students will leave the city of Chicago and spend their spring break traveling the East Coast and parts of the South visiting several historically black colleges and universities. Participating students will get a sense of what college life is like and interact with students and faculty members on campus.
“Our mission has always encompassed creating opportunities for young people,” said Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr., founder and president of Rainbow Push Coalition. “We nurture their minds into seeing that there is a world outside of their hometowns.” Most of the students are Chicagoland residents but some will come from as far as Los Angeles, California.
The tour will make the following stops:
Sunday, April 1st
Omega Baptist Church—Dayton, OH
National Underground Railroad Freedom Center---Cincinnati, OH
Monday, April 2nd
Wilberforce University—Wilberforce, OH
Central State University—Wilberforce, OH
Tuesday, April 3rd
Lincoln University—Lincoln University, PA
Cheyney University—Cheney, PA
Wednesday, April 4th
Morgan State University—Baltimore, MD
Howard University—Washington, DC
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Monument—Washington, DC
Thursday, April 5th
Norfolk State University—Norfolk, VA
Virginia State University—Petersburg, VA
Friday, April 6th
Kentucky State University—Frankfort, KY
Saturday, April 7th
Return to the Rainbow PUSH Coalition—Chicago, IL
Over the past thirteen years, the annual tour has provided hundreds of area high school students with the prospect to visit and experience over 100 traditionally black colleges and universities throughout the country.
PUSH for Excellence is committed to exposing underserved young people to the world of opportunities that exist outside their communities. This event is part of a major effort to promote increased minority college attendance through early exposure and preparation.
“The purpose of this tour is to expose our children to great institutions that offer a nurturing, protective and productive environment,” said Jason Robinson, national youth director for the Rainbow PUSH Coalition and one of the tour organizers. “Exposure is the key to making informed, intelligent and meaningful decisions.”
While on the tour, students will participate in many workshops focusing on leadership, personal development and academics with the emphasis on college preparation.
Last year, Kristopher Williams, a senior at Gwendolyn Brooks College Preparatory High School in Chicago, IL, was offered two full-ride academic scholarships to attend Howard University, in Washington, DC and Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, NC.
“This tour has introduced me to my next chapter in life,” said Williams. “Not only did I get to make a lot of new friends the tour also made me aware of schools I had not previously heard of. I loved Johnson C. Smith. I was offered their presidential scholarship because of my 4.6 GPA and ACT score of 24.”
The tour gives students insight into a range of institutions that they may not have considered attending without this opportunity. Historically black colleges and universities have produced over half of the nation’s African-Americans in professional organizations, more than 50% of the national African-American public school teachers and 70% of African-American dentist and physicians.