This year marked the ninth year for Mr. Kevin Howe (a state representative candidate for the Southside of Fort Wayne and also one of the founders of the Black College club) and Mrs. Brenda Robinson’s (Branch Director of the Old Fort YMCA and also a founder of the Black College club) annual spring trip to various colleges. Howe is a 1978 graduate with a U.S. History major of Howard University of Washington D.C. “The formation of this club came from the students and their interest in black colleges, next thing you know a trip was created,” says Mr. Howe. The first college trip was in 1997 and the colleges that were visited were Howard University, Hampton University, Northwood State, Virginia Union, St. Pauls, Virginia State, and Elizabeth State.
Robinson is a 1968 graduate with a Sociology major of Central State University of Wilberforce, Ohio. “What I enjoy the most about the club is the educational experiences, because I believe that education is the key to success and also the fact that the students feel as though they have more opportunities along with choices,” says Robinson.
The first stop was at Philander Smith College in Little Rock Arkansas where science was a huge major. In Grambling Louisiana, we stopped at Grambling University, which specialized in Nursing. We also visited Wiley College of Marshall TX, University of Texas at Dallas in Dallas TX, Paul Quinn University in Dallas TX, Houston-Tillotson University in Austin Texas, Prairie View University in Prairie View TX, Texas Southern University in Tyler TX, Xavier University in New Orleans LA, Stillman in Tuscaloosa AL, and Tennessee State University of Nashville, TN. While there we received tours from students and former students of the Black College Club and we were given questionnaire packets for information on each and every school.
Throughout the trip we were able to attend various places such as the Dallas Mavericks vs. Sacramento Kings NBA game and we also went to the mall earlier that day. At the “Potter’s House” we listened to Pastor T.B. Jakes deliver an address about everyday life situations.
This was my first year in BCC and I think that it was a great eye-opener for me to see colleges outside of Indiana with a fun experience. Personally I think that it was very informative questions in our questionnaire packets that we were told to ask that I never even thought of. I feel privileged of my acknowledgement of the club especially since I am Senior and this is the most essential time for the college information that I received.
There were altogether 37 students on the trip from the following schools: Harding, Snider, Northrop, Wayne, Luers, Southside, and Concordia. Over the past 9 years the Black College Club has had more than 600 and more students attend. For the ones who actually attended the Historical Black Colleges there has been a 90% graduation rate. Next year will be the club’s tenth year anniversary so to celebrate the students will attend the first visited colleges of 1997. The trip is attended every spring break and there’s a smaller trip available in the fall. The organizations that help fund this trip are the Old Fort YMCA, Lincoln Foundation, and Fort Wåyne Community Schools.
For more information on this club contact:
Mr. Kevin Howe at (260) 441-9024 or Mrs. Brenda Robinson at (260) 745-0541.
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