Christopher, Denise, Shakiyla and Destiny will be leaving for a week-long tour of Historically Black Colleges.
(October 16, 2012) RHS Guidance Counselor Natacha Volcy is passionate about the Historically Black College and University Bus Tour because she went on it when she was in high school. She dedicated a lot of effort this fall to encouraging students at Riverhead High School to go on the tour.
“Even though I ended up attending SUNY–Old Westbury, the tour was a life changing experience for me,” she shared.
Now, four more young people, Christopher Collins (Sr.-interested in kinesiology), Shakiyla Sykes (Jr.-who wants to be a registered nurse), Destiny McElroy (Jr.-interested in business and sports management) and Denise Brunskill (Sr.-who wants to major in psychology and become a counselor) will join about 75 other young people from New York City, Brooklyn, Long Island, Florida , Maryland, North Carolina and other states in the Northeast for a week-long tour from Hempstead down the East Coast to Atlanta. The students will tour more than 15 historically black colleges and universities along the way in Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, Alabama, and Georgia. This year marks the 31st anniversary of the Historically Black College Bus Tour, which is sponsored by Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. Eta Theta Lambda Education Foundation, Inc.
When asked about their motivation for attending the tour, all four students seemed excited about the opportunity to meet the other students on the tour, who potentially may end up with them at one of these schools. They were also hopeful about meeting college reps and administrators, who might help them gain acceptance to one of the colleges, and interested in the possiblity that it might help them get a scholarship as well.
"It just seemed like it would be a good experience," said Christopher grinning. "I want to major in kinesiology and would like to play college football," he continued, "and this is one way I can get to these colleges and look at their programs and teams."
Shakiyla, who wants to become a registered nurse, agreed, "We probably couldn't tour all these colleges on our own," she noted. "It may open up new opportunities for us, and Puddin', who went on last year's tour, said it was really fun."
Application fees are waived, scholarships are offered in some cases, and students are able to meet admission representatives in person. Both Kerrysha (Puddin') Pittman and Alexandra Brown, who went on the tour last year, are now in their first year of college at Virginia State University (one of the colleges on the tour). They both got accepted to several universities while on the tour.
Another highlight of the trip includes a tour of Washington, D.C., a visit to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, and a tour of the Martin Luther King Museum in Atlanta. And, as Christopher noted, they "get to attend homecoming at Hampton University in Virginia."
“Most of the colleges are right around $24,000,” Puddin’ noted after the trip last year. “But, that includes out-of state tuition and room and board. Plus, they have lots of scholarships. At Morgan State: One of the speakers there asked, ‘How many of you have applied for scholarships?’ Nobody raised their hands. ‘But you have time to Tweet and update your Facebook pages,’ he said. “A lot of kids on the trip got scholarships--full rides,” Puddin’ continued. “One boy got a scholarship on the spot–just for being brave enough to come up and sing when they asked for someone to share a talent.”
“You’ll never regret going on this trip,” said Ms. Volcy. “Even if you don’t go to one of the colleges on the tour, you’ll never forget this experience. It can literally be a life-changing experience for you.”
These four young people seemed to agree. The bus tour leaves at 4:00AM this Saturday, October 20th.