Youth set out on college tour

The 19th Annual YMCA Black Achievers Historically Black College Tour, sponsored by the Harley-Davidson Motor Company, departs Saturday, April 3, 2010 from the Northside YMCA, 1350 W. North Avenue.
“The YMCA Black Achievers Annual Black College Tour is a multi-layered experience for students. It allows them the experience of being away from home for a week, working together with other students, and touring Historically Black Colleges and Universities,” said Antoinette Mensah, Emerging Leaders Director for the YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee. “The primary goal of the Black College Tour is to acquaint students with the college environment, participate in workshops around preparation for college, financial aid and the overall college planning process. Year after year, teens return home from the tour inspired to succeed in high school and their community, with firmer goals and the commitment to achieve them. I look forward to seeing the results of this experience manifested in the students.”
A total of 83 Milwaukee-area  high school students will spend Spring Break touring five prominent, Historically Black Colleges and universities on the east coast including: Morgan State University, Howard University, Hampton University, Norfolk State University  and Virginia State University. Chaperones on the tour are Adult Black Achievers who provide counsel in the college application process and assistance in completing financial aid paperwork. 
“The Black College Tour is an example of the YMCA’s commitment to urban education. Programs like Black Achievers give students an edge in preparing for and applying to college. It serves as a strong example of how our YMCA programs affect young lives,” said Bob Yamachika, president and CEO of the YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee. “The unique, innovative approach of our Black Achievers program is one of the most effective educational programs for urban youth.”
Students go through an application and interview process to be selected for tour participation. In addition to the interviews, students are required to have at least a 2.7 GPA and three letters of recommendation. The YMCA Black Achievers program and its many curriculum components, such as the Black College Tour, help youth raise academic standards, explore diverse college and career options, develop positive sense of self and interact with professionals of color who serve as role models to inspire them to greater heights.
“This tour would not be possible without the generosity of our friends at Harley-Davidson,” said Mensah. “The support they have given over the years is a testament to Harley-Davidson’s dedication and commitment to this community, and the YMCA is grateful for their continued sponsorship.”
For more information regarding the Black College Tour, or to follow the students while they visit colleges during the weeklong tour, visit

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