Months after signing pledges to apply to college, Roosevelt High School’s senior class gathered Friday to share good news with their classmates at the school’s first annual college signing day.
“College can be for anyone,” senior Kaela King told her classmates after announcing she would attend SUNY Old Westbury. “You don’t have to work for minimum wage.”
Graduating students came up to the microphone in the auditorium one by one and announced their school of choice and intended major as 11th and 12th grade students cheered. Each student who participated signed a class banner and received a certificate.
The event was part of Michelle Obama’s Reach Higher Initiative, which seeks to inspire students to continue their education after graduating high school.
Not all students had made a decision yet, but about 100 announced plans to attend a variety of colleges, including the University of Albany, New York Institute of Technology, Penn State and Howard University.
Hannah Toussaint said she was planning to attend the University of Bridgeport in the fall and major in health sciences. She will be the first member of her family to attend college out of state, she said.
“I’m excited because I’ve always wanted to live in a dorm and have the college experience,” she said, adding that she had received a scholarship. “When you’re able to tell your classmates, it makes everyone feel better. Now they see you’re going and heading to bigger and better things.”
Many of the students wore T-shirts and sweatshirts from their colleges-to-be and school staff waited to greet them in apparel from their own alma maters.
Sarina Murray, a senior, proudly wore her sweatshirt from Lincoln University, a historically black college in Pennsylvania.
“It was a good feeling showing off my pride and helping others see where they wanna go in the fall,” she said, adding that she planned to major in biology.
Murray’s friend, Amani Myers, will also be attending a historically black college, Virginia Union University in Richmond, Virginia, majoring in business management.
“I got to show off my accomplishments,” Myers said. “I’m proud of where I’m going.”
Interim Superintendent Marnie Hazelton said that while she was happy to see the seniors moving on, Roosevelt would always welcome them back with open arms.
“We are proud of you and we support you. We know you are going to go onto great things,” she told the students. “And we are here with you until the end.”