College-Minded Students Make Trek to Southern Campuses

For the eighth consecutive year, Amityville High School students, under the guidance of social worker Reynolds Hawkins, visited four historically black universities in an attempt to navigate the college application process.

During the week of Sept. 22, 32 students visited Virginia State University, Virginia Union University, Cheyney University and Lincoln University over a four-day period. The students were introduced to admissions counselors, went on guided tours and visited area museums in what was part college preparedness, part history lesson.

“[These visits] gave us a sense of what we’re coming out of in high school and what we’ll be going into,” said Kyle Hobson, who plans to study criminal law and minor in music production. “They also gave me a sense of what my culture has actually done for us and how we’ve developed as a people.”

Added Deja Hoover, who plans to study health and physical education, “When I get out of high school, there are going to be more opportunities than my ancestors had. Visiting these colleges allowed me to realize I can take advantage of these opportunities.”

Jenifer Morency, a physical therapy student who also plans to run track in college, learned how to narrow down her choices.

“I learned that there are colleges that aren’t for you,” she said. “When I visited Virginia State, I felt at home. I could picture myself there. When I visited other colleges, I didn’t get that same experience. So it was important for me to see what I didn’t want, because I won’t get to do these college years over again.”

Hawkins said the group that attended ranged from grades 10-12. The Historically Black University Tour program helps students discover a range of college options outside of New York in an environment where they would feel most comfortable and prepared for success.