The Prince George’s County Alumnae Chapter (PGCAC) of Delta Sigma Theta is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its annual tour of HBCU’s for local high school students with a ceremony on Oct. 16 in advance of the tour next month.

A reunion ceremony is scheduled for Oct. 16 with people who’ve attended past tours. According to the group, past attendees will speak with current high school students on the challenge of making a college decision.

“Many times HBCU’s can’t afford to give you the money that bigger schools can give you,” Norma Hatot, communications officer for the PGCAC said. “So we think that personal interaction will help attract kids to HBCU’s.”

The Delta’s tour is provided at no profit to them. It’s one of the only subsidized tours and is also one that has stood the test of time.

“We’ve been doing tours in the Prince George’s area for 25 years and have one the longest running tours,” said Norma Hatot. “When we started 25 years ago, no one was conducting tours. We wanted to get our students interested in HBCU’S again.

“Over the years we’ve gotten students who weren’t interested in HBCU’s become interested in HBCUs and students who weren’t interested in college interested in college,” she continued.

Hatot stressed how important keeping interest in America’s HBCU’s is. She said they are integral parts of the community that prepare young African-Americans for life.

“HBCU’s are a part of the community,” said Hartot. “HBCU’s will take you into a community where you can interact and work with a community. I think they are very honest with our students. They let you know what you need to do succeed.”

The tour will begin Nov. 5 and will end on Nov. 11. It is scheduled to visit the campuses of Fisk University, Meharry Medical College, Tennessee State University, Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, Johnson C. Smith University, North Carolina A&T State University, Hampton University and Norfolk State University among others.

Students will also participate in a community service event at Shaw University in Raleigh, N.C., which was hit hard by Hurricane Irene.

It will be the first time the tour ventured to schools in Tennessee. This is being done even at a lower price for the students as outside donations drove the price down from $600 to $400. That price will cover transportation, lodging and some meals.

Students will reside in suite-style accommodations with three people per room and no sharing of beds. PGCAC will have nurses on the trip to handle medical emergencies and to serve as additional chaperones.

Hatot says the group has even hired hotel security to make sure there’s no funny business going on after hours.

“We won’t have visitation in rooms after a certain hour,” Hatot said. “We want to make sure the children are safe throughout the night.”

For more information, the chapter asks that parents call contact 301-736-3250 or email hbcu@pgcacdst.org.

 

George Barnette

Special to the AFRO