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  • Writer's pictureMcNair

Annual College Road Trip Inspires Juniors

College visits are an important step for students in exploring and planning for post-secondary options. In addition to one-day trip to schools such as UNC-Charlotte and UNC-Asheville, for several years, the McNair Foundation has taken groups of Rutherford County Schools (RCSNC) juniors on an overnight road trip to visit several colleges that are a little further from home. The College Road Trip annually consists of visiting the UNC-Chapel Hill, NC State University, and East Carolina University. More recently, the Foundation has added another road trip to the calendar – the HBCU Road Trip.

HBCU Road Trip at NC Central
NC Central University was one of five stops for RCSNC juniors on the HBCU Road Trip

HBCUs, or historically black colleges and universities, are higher education institutions that were established prior to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to serve the African-American population. There is a strong network of HBCUs particularly across the southeastern United States, and North Carolina is home to several. The McNair Foundation is excited to enable 30-40 RCSNC students to visit four of those annually.

On the 2019 HBCU Road Trip, 36 juniors from Chase High, East Rutherford High, and R-S Central High visited John C. Smith University, Winston-Salem State University, NC Central University, and NC A&T University. The road trip took place April 17 and 18. On their tours, students saw campuses, heard from representatives from admissions and other departments, and even had a chance to speak with former RCSNC students who are now attending the schools they were touring.

This is an exciting trip that students and McNair Foundation staff, alike, look forward to every year. Because four of the five schools are more than two hours from home, many students may otherwise not have a chance to visit the campuses before applying to college, making the road trip’s impact even greater. Since the establishment of the HBCU Road Trip, several students have attributed their ultimate college decision to their experience on the trip. Vivica Moore, a senior at East Rutherford High, for instance, participated in the 2018 road trip and will be attending NC A&T in the fall.

Those interested in participating in college visits throughout the year can contact the McNair office at their school or speak with their McNair mentor.

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