2012 Y Achievers Southeastern College Tour
March 11-17, 2012
Y Achievers Southeastern College Tour began just like a first day of college. Students and families said their goodbyes as families double checked their students’ luggage, reminded students of all the things they had taught them, and hugged them with well wishes for a successful and safe journey ahead of them. 48 students from over 15 Kansas City metro area high schools joined the Y Achievers Southeastern College Tour. With the bus loaded, we headed to the first stop on our seven day adventure: Memphis, Tennessee.
Students pulled an all-nighter at the Memphis YMCA, adding to what would be their long list of college experiences.
Early in the morning we wished the Memphis Y Achievers a safe journey on their college tour, as we left for Lemoyne-Owen College, a small private college founded in 1862. Students heard of the history their ancestors left for them: an education. They walked through buildings once homes to slaves that now are homes to higher education.
Continuing on the road of history we headed to Jackson State University in Mississippi. A larger public school the students immediately saw a difference in infrastructure and size. Although the school was on Spring Break, our students experienced the campus life with a walk down fraternity row, visit to the student center, and state of the art recreation facilities.
Back on the bus the next morning, students practiced their southern accents as we passed through the rice and cotton fields heading towards Montgomery, Alabama for a visit to Tuskegee University and Auburn University.
At Tuskegee students started their tour at the Booker T. Washington monument. The monument inscription reads: “He lifted the veil of ignorance from people and pointed the way to progress through education and industry.” Powerful words as we learned of the history of the Tuskegee Machine and the Tuskegee Airmen that started their fight, flight, and higher education at Tuskegee University.
War Eagle is the common greeting of an Auburn student and alumni. Students found that this university had a wealth of history and traditions. For lunch we headed to a local favorite, Momma Goldberg’s—famous for their steamed sandwiches, southern hospitality, and Auburn pride. Some guests said it felt like a football game day, as our group of over 50 filled the local hotspot.
On the road again! On day four we headed to Tallahassee, Florida and landed in Seminole Country at Florida State University. Palm trees, sun bathers, and college? Although students may have been distracted by the tropical beauty, students were amazed at the large campus size (that of a small city) and student enrollment of over 40,000!
On our way to the campus of Florida A&M University, we stopped at the FSU and FAMU College of Engineering. Students sat in a classroom and listened to a professor’s lecture. The professor’s passion and energy may have changed some of the students’ career paths to engineering. These students may join the approximately 80% of college students that change their majors at least once…yet another, college experience to add to the list!
At Florida A&M students experienced college dining, campus life, and college budgeting. With a variety of choices, it was easy to spend a buck or two at the college bookstores and restaurants.
On to Atlanta! We began our day with a visit to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center and Museum. Students watched a documentary focusing on youth involvement in the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s, today, and in the future. Students felt the impact the MLK legacy has had on the Civil Rights movement both in the USA and abroad.
Atlanta University Center—Clark Atlanta University, Spelman College, and Morehouse College. Students were surrounded by the hustle and bustle of campus life among these three adjoining campuses. Both Spelman and Morehouse demonstrated to our students the importance of being and looking professional while on campus, along with the importance of obtaining a college education at an institution that is the right fit for each student’s specific needs and interests.
Before heading home to Kansas City we stopped in Nashville at Tennessee State University and Fisk University.
At TSU students experienced first hand campus life with a step show and dodge ball game. The active college campus was intriguing for many students, and their strong engineering and medical programs raised many eyebrows among our group.
Fisk University famous alum, W.E.B. Du Bois, reminded our students “Education is that whole system of human training within and without the school house walls, which molds and develops men.” We experienced dorm life at Fisk…community showers and all!
After visiting twelve colleges and universities, traveling through six states, and making countless memories we returned home to Kansas City. We look forward to assisting in their preparation to attend college and hearing about their future college experiences!
Thank you for everyone that has supported and continues to support our Y Achievers program!