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25 Years of College Tours and Successful Students

Brooke Moore-White

After 25 years of Black College Tours, Dr. Pinkard says it is as exciting today to watch students tour colleges and gain confidence about themselves and their educational future, as it was 25 years ago at Prairie View A & M University! Each year we are blessed to expose the students to something new and different.  One year we visited with the late, great Maya Angelou in her home. This year we visited Wiley College and one of the debaters from their championship Debate Team performed for us.The tours are always new and different in some way each year. The students gain respect for learning and hard work. They learn that you can reach your goals, but you have to set them.

This year we are proud to have 10 college graduates from the program.  The students have gone to colleges all over the United States. Although the college tour goes to Historically Black Colleges and Universities, the message is to “further your education” at the college that best provides for the completion of your goal.

Raven Rutledge graduated from San Francisco State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies. She was featured in the Los Angeles Times for her work on the Fossil Free Program at SFSU.

Raven led the campaign on the Fossil Free Divestment Program at SFSU which led to SFSU being the first Cal State University from divesting funds in the fossil fuel investments.

Andre Jerrod Richards graduates June 14 from California State University, Los Angeles with a Bachelor of Arts in Music Composition. He is an accomplished musician on several instruments and writes his own music.

DeJanee’ Mitchell graduated from Grambling State University in Business and Art this May. She is an accomplished artist and has had several shows.

Brooke Moore-White graduated from Tuskegee University with a Bachelor of Science in Sociology. She has run for the City of Tuskegee Council and is an active community leader in Tuskegee.

Brion Johnson attended Bowie State University in Bowie, Maryland for a year and transferred to Sacramento State. He graduated from California State University this May with a Bachelor of Art in Social Sciences and Interdisciplinary Studies – International Relations.

While at Sacramento, he was President of the International Business Organization, Secretary of Chinese American Culture Club and member of Communication and Finance Management. He plans to enroll in grad school and get his Master’s in International Relations or Government.

Karrah Womack graduated from California State University Northridge with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology with an emphasis in Clinical Psychology.   She is active in the Oxnard and works with youth at her church.

Takiyah Cotton will be graduating from University of California, Santa Barbara with a degree in Chemical Engineering this month. She went to Ventura College for her general education requirements and transferred to UCSB.  She is graduating with a ‘B’ average and looking forward to an internship in the Fall.

Devin Amar attended the 2009 College Tour when she was at Rio Mesa High School. She attended and graduated from Tennessee State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration, Economics and Math. Devin said it was a new environment for her when she went to TSU but an instructor and her Department Chair mentored her. It was their encouragement and support that made the difference for her.

Teara Michelle Richardson graduated from Southern University and A & M College in Baton Rouge on Mother’s Day. Her Bachelor of Science Degree is in Criminal Justice.

Xavier Jackson graduated from Norfolk State University with a degree in Sociology. He is now making his home in Norfolk Virginia and will pursue his Master’s Degree.

It is heartwarming to get graduation announcements each year from the young people who have been on the tour and graduated from college. They are excited and the Black College Tour staff is excited as well. We are proud to know that we had a part to play in their success.

Programs such as this are very important for our young people. They can see role models excelling and doing what they can now imagine themselves doing. When you are 2 ½ – 3% of the population you see daily and don’t see leaders that look like you, you wonder if you can excel and become a leader. The Black College Tour confirms for students that you can do ANYTHING you want to do if you work hard and apply yourself.

One thing we know, 25 years is just the beginning!!

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