A World of Possibilities Explored During HBCU Trip  

A World of Possibilities Explored During HBCU Trip  

Some of our young people recently toured historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in Atlanta, GA.

For many of our kids, going to college never felt like an option. But the experience gave them a glimpse into a future of possibility if they worked hard in school. And while all of our college tours help our kids envision college, seeing HBCUs first hand gave them extra encouragement to aim high.

“I believe the purpose of the trip was to allow the youth to see educational institutions that represented their culture, ethnicity, and background,” said Brittany Terrell, Mercy Home’s director of education and career resources. 

“It’s very important for the youth to be exposed to a diverse set of educational institutions.”

The youth had the opportunity to visit three prestigious institutions: Spelman College, Clark Atlanta University, and Emory University. They learned about the application process, student life, academic programs, and financial aid. And they had the chance to talk with current HBCU students about their college experiences.

It’s very important for the youth to be exposed to a diverse set of educational institutions.

“A lot of our youth were able to connect with the speakers in one aspect or another, and that made it all seem tangible and real,” said Gwyneth Dixon, who helps coordinate post-secondary school planning for our young people. “There were a lot of moments where [participants said], ‘I can do this!’ and that was a really exciting moment.”

Moments of insight and discovery like these are exactly what these college tours are designed to produce. The experience helps demystify college and encourages the confidence our young people need to take the next step.

“The overall message of the trip is that you have options to be able to achieve your dreams,” Terrell said. 

Although exposure to HBCUs was the trip’s primary agenda item, participants also had the chance to experience Atlanta’s attractions and historical sites. 

In addition to taking in an Atlanta Braves baseball game, they toured Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s childhood home, Ebenezer Baptist Church, and the center of the civil rights marches in downtown Atlanta. 

After the trip, the youth were inspired to make it their goal to attend college. “We left with more than half of the youth committing to applying to those schools [we visited] when they’re [ready] to apply for colleges,” Dixon said. 

Mercy Home’s education and career resources team is looking ahead to future visits. 

“I want to continue to expose our kids to [HBCUs] because a lot of our kids will be first-generation college students, and won’t have that support from their family,” Terrell said. “[We tell them], whatever you want to do [in the future], we’re going to be here for you.”

Mercy Home is deeply grateful to the donors who recognize the role that HBCUs play in the educational fabric of our country and who helped fund the visit. 

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