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LEAD Public Schools

LEAD Graduates Continue their Education at HBCUs

Dozens of LEAD Academy and LEAD Southeast High School Class of 2021 graduates applied, were admitted, and will attend some of our nation’s most prestigious Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). 

About one-third of HBCUs have experienced record increases in applications and enrollment over the past three years, according to the Rutgers Center For Minority Serving Institutions.

Many HBCUs attribute the wave of applicants to the racial justice movement happening around the country. Vice President Kamala Harris, the first woman of color in our nation’s second highest office, also put a spotlight on her alma mater, Howard University. Howard administrators attribute the media attention to the increase in applications.

“I attribute this growth to the commitment of our College Counseling team to really ‘seeing’ ALL of our students and supporting them in making college and life choices that embody our diversity and Ethos,” said VP of Development Eloise Alexis, a second generation HBCU graduate.

LEAD students are given access to learn more about HBCUs through network and school leadership, as well as teachers. CEO Dwayne Tucker, Principal at LEAD Brick Church Marcus Moye, and Operations Manager for LEAD Brick Church and LEAD Neely’s Bend Demetrius Greer all graduated from Tennessee State University. VP of Development Eloise Alexis earned her undergraduate degree from Spelman College in Atlanta and also worked there for 24 years before working at TSU for an additional five years. Senior Seminar Teacher and College Counselor at LEAD Academy High School Jason Harrison is a Fisk University graduate.

“HBCUs provide an affirming environment for African-American students and students of African descent. You see yourself reflected everywhere —  in the leadership, on the faculty, as student government president, in the classroom and, most importantly, as graduates and alumni,” said Alexis. “At Spelman, the educational experience offered me the rigorous course of study I would have received at other highly ranked schools, with the added fluency of also exploring academic content from the lens of the African diaspora. My HBCU experience is the foundation of my resilience and success in navigating complex environments.”

At LEAD Southeast High School, 21 students were admitted to an HBCU. At LEAD Academy, students received acceptance letters to 14 different HBCUs, totaling 32 HBCU acceptances for the LAHS class of 2021. 

LEAD students applied to Alabama A&M, Alabama State, American Baptist College, Clark Atlanta, Fayetteville State, Fisk University, Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University, Grambling State, Howard University, Lane College, Morehead College, Spelman College, Tennessee State University, and Tuskegee University.  

On Senior Signing Day 2021, students announced their college decisions in a special ceremony online, including the following students who will attend an HBCU in the fall. 

  • Aniyah Easley will be attending Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia 
  • Aisha Starling will be attending Lane College in Jackson, Tennessee
  • Kanetray Westbrook will be attending Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee
  • KenTerryia Rogers will be attending American Baptist College in Nashville, Tennessee
  • Brooklyn Cunningham & Marina Vega Alvarado will be attending Tennessee State University in Nashville, Tennessee

Alexis encourages LEAD students to consider the option of attending an HBCU. She attributes her graduate school success at Vanderbilt University to the academic, civic and cultural context she received at Spelman College.

If you are interested in learning more about HBCUs, contact college counselors Kelly Pietkiewicz at LEAD Academy and JoyBeth Bodie at LSE High.

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