C-A students take bus tour to black colleges




FLINT TWP. – All aboard! A college campus tour by a busload of Carman-Ainsworth High School students is sold out.

“We are at capacity,’’ said Chane Clingman, a behavior interventionist at the high school and advisor to CA’s African American Students Association. “I still have kids calling to go but we only have one bus.’’

Fifty-one students have signed up for the H.B.C.U. Tour, a week-long visit during spring break in April to historically black colleges and universities located in or near Washington D.C.

It will be the school’s first H.B.C.U. tour but Clingman said he has worked previously with Calvin Martin Enterprises outside the school district that conducts similar campus visits.

Planned campus stops are at Hampton University in Hampton, VA; Norfolk State University in Norfolk, VA, Virginia State University in Petersburg, VA; Howard University in Washington, D.C.; Bowie State in Bowie, MD; and Morgan State in Baltimore, MD.

Activities at each campus stop include a tour, meetings with academic counselors or other school officials and lunch.

On Monday, the first day of the tour, students will tour campuses at Norfolk, Hampton, and Virginia State universities. Tuesdays itinerary includes the Howard campus and visits to landmarks in the nation’s capitol. On Wednesday, the group heads to Morgan State and more sightseeing. Thursday includes the final campus visit at Bowie State.

A planned highlight of the tour is attending a NBA basketball game between the Detroit Pistons and the Washington Wizards at the Verizon Center. After the game, the group has been issued tunnel passes to meet the teams and get a pep talk from JaVale McGee, a Wizards team member who grew up in Flint and is the son of Pamela McGee. She was an outstanding Flint basketball player and also played in the WNBA.

Other planned tour stops include The White House, the U.S. Capitol, the National Aquarium, Union Station Visitor Center and The Smithsonian.

Another perk is that most of the colleges visited have agreed to waive the application fee which averages about $25 each, Clingman said. Seniors on the tour will be able to fill out on-the-spot applications. That adds up to a substantial savings for parents interested in their child applying to several HBCU’s, Clingman said.

The trip concludes on Friday with an afternoon of fun on the beach at Ocean City, MD.

Clingman said he grew up in the Washington D.C. area and has contacts that helped arrange things for the students to do.

Besides Clingman, four chaperones traveling on the bus with the students include a counselor, a high school vice principal, a retired teacher and an assistant coach.

The bus will leave from the high school at 6 p.m. on Sunday, April 3, and return at about 9 a.m. Saturday, April 9.

The trip costs $550 per person and includes meals, lodging, transportation and event admission fees, Clingman said.

An orientation held last week acquainted parents and students with rules of the road, Clingman said. More than 60 parents attended the meeting to express interest, he said.


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