Stockbridge students gearing up for Bridge2College Tour

By Jason A. Smith
Times Correspondent

Students at Stockbridge High School will soon get a closer look at their educational options during their fall break.

Students at last year’s Bridge2College Tour. Special photo

About 50 college-bound students are set to participate in the school’s second annual Bridge2-College Tour, visiting 13 colleges along the east coast.

The group encompasses STEAM Academy students and other upperclassmen at SHS. STEAM is an acronym for “science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics.” The 2015 trip will cover twice as much ground as last year’s tour. It will include stops at the University of Kentucky, University of Cinci-nnati, Ohio State University, Syracuse University, Michigan Institute of Technology, Har-vard University, Brown Univer-sity, Howard University, Georgetown University, Duke University, North Carolina A&T University, Furman University, and the University of Georgia.

Akhenaten Hotep Amun, the trip’s organizer, is a STEAM Academy leader and Instruc-tional Math Coach at SHS. He says an excursion of this kind is “unheard of, especially for a public school.”

“They get to see 13 schools that might not have been on their radar, but now they know, are within their reach,” says Amun. “The actual experience of being in a space motivates the students beyond just pamphlets, flyers and infomercials that you may see on television.”

Amun says prior to the creation of the tour, many students were reluctant to reach beyond the limits of Georgia for their education.

“I couldn’t blame parents, because it was partially our responsibility to show them what it was like as well,” says Amun. “They never saw what it was it was like to go to a large institution that was around for 150, maybe 200 years. Last year was eye-opening for students, because they loved it. They loved seeing actual campuses and some of them were seeing actual perks as well. They were getting application fee waivers, and maybe three to five of them, (the students) were getting admissions decisions on site.”

Amun will be joined on the tour by fellow SHS educators Essie Jones, Adam McGill, Angie McIntosh, and Dr. Joyce Atkinson. Students on the tour will also ride a ferry at Niagara Falls, tour New York City, and visit the Smithsonian Museums and other attractions in Washington, D.C.

SHS Principal Eric Watson said he is excited about introducing his students to some of the best colleges in the country.

“With each graduating class, we hope to see an increase in the number of Stockbridge graduates attending such prestigious schools,” says Watson. “The Bridge2College Tour has be-come an anticipated annual event for students at SHS. Although we are limited to taking 50 students this year, next year we intend to open it up to other high schools around the county.”