April 18, 2024

Avenues for Justice Participants Visit Delaware State University As Part of Our HIRE Up Enrichment Program

Last week Friday, as part of Avenues for Justice’s (AFJ) HIRE Up enrichment programming which includes college visits, AFJ took Participants to Delaware State University (DSU), an HBCU---which stands for Historically Black Colleges and Universities. In the past five years, AFJ has taken Participants on visits to Howard University, Columbia University and Pace University.  

Before the DSU trip, most Participants who signed up did not think that they were college bound but had expressed an interest in visiting an institution of higher learning. After taking in the beautiful campus, AFJ Participants were welcomed by and had lunch with Kenisha Ringgold, the Deputy General Counsel for DSU, who answered questions about academics. Towards the end of their meal, Participants were greeted by Dr. Tony Allen, DSU’s President and Dr. Irene Hawkins, DSU’s Chief Administrative Officer.

Dr. Allen and Dr. Hawkins encouraged the group to consider applying to DSU. Dr. Hawkins shared that as a Harlem native, growing up she felt that she was not cut out for college. That is until she applied to and started her educational journey at DSU. After her undergraduate studies, Dr. Hawkins went on to get her PhD in Educational Leadership, all of which led her to her current capacity as DSU’s Chief Administrative Officer. Dr. Hawkins’ story was extremely inspiring to our young people---especially as a native New Yorker!

AFJ Participants also met with a student panel who offered their perspective on campus life. One of the key takeaways from the conversation was the level of maturity required to attend college. The student panel shared that, unlike high school, in college there will be no one telling you when to wake up, when to go to class, when to do your assignments and how to manage your time. It is up to you to have the maturity to make good decisions, balance your academic life with your social life and to be committed to passing your classes. Our Participants also learned about the importance of financial aid and scholarships to help reduce the burden of college tuition.

AFJ Participant Michael, who was the most reserved on the ride from NYC to Delaware, ended up being the most engaged and interested out of everyone in the group. Speaking to a local reporter from the Delaware Daily State News, Michael shared how he felt that the trip was “very interesting and it showed a lot of things you can learn after moving on from high school and preparing yourself to be the grown person you should be. I learned from the student panel that when you surround yourself with positive people, you get positive things that come your way. I think I might make an application when it’s time.”

In the year ahead, AFJ looks forward to providing more cultural and educational experiences for our Participants. We thank our Board Chair, Alanna Rutherford, along with LaKresha Roberts Moultrie, DSU’s Vice President of Legal Affairs, General Counsel & Chief Enterprise Risk Officer, and Dawn Fortune, DSU’s Executive Assistant to General Counsel and Chief Enterprise Risk Officer, for facilitating this wonderful university visit. You can read the full article in the Daily State News here!


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