RCSD students head to Atlanta to tour historically Black colleges and universities

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Some Rochester City School District students are heading south Tuesday to get a head start on their college search. Spelman, Morehouse and Clark Atlanta are all on the agenda for this week.

“Kind of scared about the plane ride but overall, I feel like it’s going to be a good experience for me because I really wanted to go to an HBCU,” said junior Arianna Walter.

For many Northeast College Prep students like Walter, not only is it their first time on a plane, but it’s also their first time visiting colleges.

“It means a lot, I’m not going to lie. It gives the kids opportunities that they want to look into at these schools and probably go to one, who knows,” said senior Toni Kendrick.

This is also the first time the school has chosen HBCU’s for students to tour.

School leaders said it was important for students to be exposed to different options.

“As you know, across the district there was a big push to provide young people with the opportunity to experience that notion of Black excellence at HBCU’s. So a lot of our counterparts at different schools are taking trips over spring break, February break, and giving kids the opportunity to see that in action and to see themselves on college campuses and to see young people that look like themselves on college campuses,” said principal Kirstin Pryor.

Students said seeing college campuses in person rather than just online, makes a big difference.

Especially for first generation college students like SharyMar.

“It’s a blessing in disguise not having to spend so much and then at the same time just spend time with your friends and your peers that you have around all the time. So I think it’s a nice experience that we’re going to have,” said junior SharyMar Sepulveda.

The hope is that students will realize how much bigger the world is outside of Rochester.

“We hope that our kids, and our young people, become more confident moving in the larger world, considering multiple perspectives and trying new experiences,” Pryor said.

Students will also tour historical civil rights locations and go to an Atlanta Hawks game.

They are expected to return to Rochester Friday morning.