This category is about people and organizations that reach into the community and help children get from not-going-to-graduate-from-high-school to having the vision, determination and skills to go to college.
Here's another program: The National Urban League's Incentive to Excel and Succeed (NULITES)
FOCUS ON YOUTH: Students hold common vision Organization encourages their dreams of college
July 21, 2004
BY CLEVE R. WOOTSON JR.
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER
Alexandria Gamlin never doubted that she'd go to college.
Her parents always pushed her. She joined the Detroit Urban League's college club to meet other young people with the same vision.
At 17, Alexandria knows where she wants to be in 10 years -- advertising, maybe business -- and she knows what it takes to get there.
"I think that's always the goal -- to go to college and get an education," she said, though she's undecided on where. "I know in my house, it's always been taught that's what to do -- go to college."
So when 390 like-minded young members of the National Urban League's Incentive to Excel and Succeed program gather starting today, Alexandria and other NULITES members will hear familiar messages. And organizers hope the teenagers will gain an even clearer view of what they want to do in the future.
The National Urban League meets in Detroit at Cobo Hall today through Sunday. Among the attendees will be NULITES members from across the nation, participating in some of the Urban League's events.
Some NULITES members are high academic achievers; others are youngsters who want to improve their lives through college.
While in Detroit, they'll tour Wayne State University's medical school, the Charles A. Wright Museum of African American History and the Ford Rouge Plant. They also will attend a baseball game at Comerica Park after a behind-the-scenes look at how to plan a baseball game.
Renita Carter, national NULITES program director, said she hopes the 14- to 18-year-olds will "feel that they're capable of doing what they set out to do. That they don't see themselves as limited by the challenges that come in the future."
Organizers say they hope the relationships the youths forge with each other will serve them well in future endeavors.
Carter said that she grew up watching her mom teach English to children in Chicago. That's part of the reason she chose to help with the NULITES program.
"My mother changed lives, and she had nine months to do it," she said. "I have four days."
She says part of it happens automatically when teenagers from different backgrounds start exploring their differences.
"If you take kids who are different and you put them together, there will always be a common denominator," she said. "They e-mail each other; they call each other. They build a networking system early."
Michelle Bryant, 15, who attends Regina High School in Harper Woods, says she sees every day what happens when people don't go to college. Now she's getting a chance to see what happens when people decide to pursue higher education.
"You see both sides," Michelle said. "You see what happens if you don't go to college. The Urban League teaches you what you can do if you go to college. Then I can make that choice on my own."
To learn more about the Detroit Urban League's college club and its other programs, call 313-863-0300, ext. 242 or go to www.detroiturbanleague.org.
Contact CLEVE R. WOOTSON JR. at 313-223-4286 or email@example.com.
FOCUS ON YOUTH: Students hold common vision
Copyright © 2004 Detroit Free Press Inc. All rights reserved.