NAACP recognized students taking the “Highway to Higher Education”
For the fourth year, the Florence Branch of the NAACP recognized the top five African American seniors with the highest grade point average in each of the three high schools at a special program. The program was held on Sunday, May 19 at 3:30 p.m. at Trinity Baptist Church, 124 W. Darlington Street.
Organizers of the event said the impetus of this program grew out of a national trend where many of the accomplishments of high achieving African American students went unnoticed, and frequent, unlimited media attention to negative images of African American students led to discussions about the students’ road to destruction, particularly “The Pipeline to Prison,”
During the past four years, the Florence Branch of the NAACP has challenged the notion that the majority of African American students are headed down the pipeline to prison, but rather are on the Highway to Higher Education.
Jerry Keith, President of the Florence Branch of the NAACP said, “The program shared the students’ positive stories via videotape.” Keith also noted that at this program, the top five African American seniors from each high school made a connection with Florence One middle school students who have the potential to become high achievers as well. “I am excited about the caliber of students that we are recognizing again this year,” Keith added.
Florence One Superintendent Dr. Richard O’Malley added to Keith’s statement saying, “We are delighted to be able to partner with the Florence Branch of the NAACP for the fourth year in a row in recognizing these students. Mr. Keith and I have taken time to become acquainted with these outstanding young people. We are proud of their accomplishments, and we look forward to their continued successes.”
Students recognized at the Highway to Higher Education Program include: South Florence’s Alexis Carroway, Darrin Davis, Akira Johnson, Taylor Jones and Micheal Mason Jr.; West Florence’s Ebony Hunter, Deasia Rush, Alexis Dale, Jarrod Woodland, and Jordyn Parnell; Wilson’s Jaila Davis, Kala Blu Jenkins, Alexis Reid, Emily SantiAnna, and Kianna Wolfe.
Community organizations, local churches along with Florence businesses McDonald’s and Pepsi sponsored this year’s program.
For more information on the Highway to Higher Education Program and how the public may become involved, contact Jerry Keith, President of the Florence Branch of the NAACP at kangenh20@ gmail.com.