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Something to Think About: The HBCU Tour

Op/Ed By Michael Vaughn –


new michael vaughnOne of the things that I am passionate about is education. I believe that an education is something that, regardless of what happens around you, cannot be taken away.

If you are willing to get an education, and that education is a good one, it is something that can withstand the various obstacles we may face in life.

This is why it is so extremely important that we do our level best to provide a solid, high-quality education to our young people.

The main reason for me moving my family out of the city of Rochester when I did was because of the education I believed my children would get from the RCSD.

And, since our young people essentially have only one run through the educational system, prior to facing college or a career, it is important to get it right!

The purpose of my column this week is to highlight the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Tour which has come to the city of Rochester now for four years, consecutively.

While this is the fourth year of this event, this is first year that I was able to attend.

This tour is the vision of Rochester City Councilman Adam McFadden, and was sponsored by Mayor Lovely Warren and the city of Rochester.

The tour not only exposed young people (more than 1,300 this year) to college, but young folks who were qualified could get an on-the-spot, automatic acceptance to one (or more) of the schools in attendance, and a chance to receive several scholarships that the schools had available.

Part way through the luncheon, there were 247 students accepted to one of the schools, and over $300,000 in scholarships given!

That is awesome!

The United Negro College Fund (UNCF) organized the event, and it was one of the leaders from this group that invited me to attend.

I am a fan!

As a community, we can (and should) rally around efforts such as this, because of the generational impacts that a quality education can have upon an individual.

It was evident that there was a high-quality effort put into holding the luncheon, and that there were undeniable results taking place.

There was also an alumnus of the HBCU Tour who gave remarks regarding her acceptance and first year at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical (NCA&T) University.

She was very well-spoken, articulate, and appeared to be a nice young lady who is poised to make a tremendous impact for her generation.

Her experience with NCA&T started with the HBCU Tour.

It gave her access to a school she may not have otherwise known, nor become a student of, had it not been for this wonderful event.

There are many, many things which can be said about the state of education in Rochester.

There are also plenty of opportunities for disagreements with politicians of every stripe.

However, when officials such as Councilman McFadden and Mayor Warren can come together, and sponsor an event such as this, with these sorts of results (including almost $3 million in scholarships given to students), we have to salute their efforts.

The gentleman from UNCF who invited me to attend the event has also asked me to serve on the committee which organizes the event each year.

I mentioned to him that I would.

My desire would be to see this event grow larger and larger, and to continue use it to inspire younger students to do well in school, and to be prepared when the HBCU tour comes to town.

If you would like to contact me, please email me at

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