Local students on tour of historically black colleges

New London - An excited group of 39 high school students from around the region boarded a bus in the New London High School parking lot Tuesday morning bound for a six-day tour of historically black colleges.

The trip, organized by the local chapter of Historically Black College Alumni, will take the mostly sophomores and juniors to six colleges - Bowie State University, Coppin State University, Morgan State University , Howard University, Hampton University and Norfolk State University.

"I want to see what they are all about," said Marcel Simmons, a junior at New London High School. "I want to see how they are different than regular colleges."

Jermaine Harris, a senior at Waterford High School, said he was looking forward to visiting Bowie State, in Maryland.

"I'm curious about it," Harris said. "I'll have more questions about that school."

Robin Brown of Groton, whose son Maurice is going on the trip, said she wants her son to see all different types of colleges.

"I want him too look at big schools and small schools, public and private," Brown said.

This is the 18th year HBCA has offered students the chance to tour historically black schools, according to trip organizer Vouise Fonville.

Fonville said at some of the stops students will be met by Connecticut residents who are going to school there. The visiting students will also receive information about scholarships and financial aid.

There are 105 historically black colleges and universities located in 20 states, the District of Columbia and the United States Virgin Islands.

Before the bus got underway, the Rev. Wade Hyslop, whose granddaughter attended Delaware State University, asked the tour group to join hands for a prayer.

"This is an exceptional opportunity, especially for young people who have never been to a college campus," said Hyslop, who is also a city councilor.

Louis Allen, the director of the Science and Technology Magnet School of Southeastern Connecticut, who was also on hand to see the students off, praised the trip organizers.

"This is great," Allen said. "For 18 years they have been giving up their personal time to do this."



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