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School District of Palm Beach County goes virtual for HBCU college tours

'I'm very ready to graduate,' student says
Posted at 9:23 PM, Jan 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-21 00:19:53-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Some Palm Beach County high school students are taking their college tours virtually.

"I'm very ready to graduate," Temerah Williams said.

Williams knows her time is short at Palm Beach Lakes High School. Instead of continuing her education at a white institution, she's choosing an HBCU, or Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

"I'm not really from a Black area or minority area, so going to Palm Beach Lakes, it really, like, opened my eyes to what HBCUs can offer," she said.

She's already been accepted to several schools for next fall.

"I got a few acceptances in Alabama -- Alabama A&M, Alabama State -- but in Florida, I'm looking at Florida A&M," she said.

The School District of Palm Beach County has been doing an HBCU recruiting tour for years.

"It started out with a charter bus and us traveling to nine schools over three days, and it devolved to last year, we had close to 30 schools and awarded close to $15 million in scholarships," Eunice Vivar, with the school district, said.

This year the district had to adjust due to the pandemic. They've partnered with Miami-Dade, Broward, and Osceola counties to set up an HBCU recruitment tour.

"We have over 34 schools over two weeks, each committed to spending one hour during our tour to present information to our students and community and families," Vivar said.

So, the question is how many students attend HBCUs from Palm Beach County?

"It's been a rather small percentage," Vivar said. "Less than 5% of our students have gone to HBCUs."

Williams said she has added inspiration because new Vice President Kamala Harris went to an HBCU -- Howard University in Washington.

"It's very inspiring to know that, eventually, some of us can do the same and just inspire as many people as she did," she said.