By For Richmond staff
As De Anza senior Destiny Howard found out last week, the 4th annual “Help a Brother Get to College” Day was not just about the boys.
Although billed primarily as an event for young men, Howard was one of a number of girls who participated in the hugely successful college fair event in Richmond, featuring more than 260 participants and a record number of college acceptances and financial aid packages received.
Howard received an on-the-spot admission and a Presidential Scholarship to Lincoln University in Missouri, which includes a financial aid package covering the majority of her expenses and making the dream of higher education attainable for her and her family.
“It’s truly a dream come true, and I’m unbelievably thankful to the Young Scholars Program and Lincoln University for putting faith in me,” said Howard, who hopes to become a forensic scientist and plans to major in chemistry and pre-law with a minor in African-American studies.
She is one of dozens of students who were accepted to college on the spot and were even given financial aid at the college fairs organized by Young Scholars Program (YSP) with support from For Richmond.
“This is a great event because so many students in Richmond have big dreams but just need that extra push to help them get there,” said Jacqueline Rushing, YSP’s executive director. “Many of our participants walked away feeling motivated about their future and excited for the opportunities ahead.”
As for Howard, the Richmond resident has always been a strong student but her ambitions really took off her junior year after meeting Rushing at a local college info session.
Rushing asked her if she wanted to join the Wise Girls, a YSP program for young African-American women. She said yes and the rest is history.
Destiny said YSP helped her regain her focus, manage her time, and get back on track to her goal of being the first in her family to go to college.
“My mom and dad are very excited and happy for me,” Howard said, “They have always encouraged me to take the extra step forward.”
Although she is excited by the Presidential Scholarship, she also spent time talking to a number of other colleges at the event and plans on applying to different state universities and a few other Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
Her final decision will rest on what kind of financial aid she is offered and where she feels most comfortable living and studying on her own.