Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District

Students of Promise Explore Wash. DC

Dec. 20, 2017 -- Eight Heights High Students of Promise were part of a 40 member field trip to Washington DC November 15-18.
The trip included visits to important sights in our nation’s capital, a college tour, a seafood dinner and writing and reflective activities at the end of each day.

The Students of Promise inside the Capitol Building afer their tour.  Nicholas Hardy, Chamari Reid, Jaime Shears, Dae'Von Anderson, Edward Davis, Jai-a Watkins, Mya Bishop and Tommy Pierce, L-R.
There are 50 students in the Heights High Students of Promise program and 270 students in three other school districts in Cuyahoga County. 

The program works to close the achievement gap and helps students develop academic competence, leadership skills and self awareness.

Erin Mims is the Heights High coordinator. “I was really proud of the students on the DC trip,” she said. “They were very engaged, curious and diligent about their reflective writing.”

Two students talked about the highlights of the trip.

Senior Edward Davis enjoyed the tour of Howard University, a Historically Black University and talking to members of the Omega Psi Phi fraternity.

“The environment there was great and they told us about the school and the opportunities there,” he said. Edward is interested in attending culinary school after he graduates.
“I’ve been cooking for several years, I started with pancakes and am doing more grilling now.” 
The students enjoyed dinner at Bubba Gump Shrimp Company and Restaurant and the gift shop.
When he first started to cook, he noticed the smile on people’s faces when they enjoyed his food. “That’s a great feeling, when people like your food,” he continued.

This is his first year as a Student of Promise and he appreciates the support from Ms. Mims. “She helps us, and loves us,” he said. “She helps us to grow, we all help each other to grow.”

Junior Mya Bishop was impressed with Arlington Cemetery but wondered why the slaves who fought for the north were in a segregated area of the cemetery. “The graves of slaves were in a hidden corner,” she said.  “That bothered me, they served for the cause but it seems like they are not honored in the same way.”

One of her favorite parts of the trip was Frederick Douglas’ home. “It has a great view of the city and is pretty modern, considering the time period that he lived.”

She also liked the National Great Blacks in Wax Museum in Maryland. “It showed history in a way that made it very real. The slave ship was amazing,” she continued. “It made you feel like you were right there.”

“Our goal is to expose students to things that connect to their classroom learning but that they might not otherwise see,” said Ms. Mims. 

“We always visit a college campus on our trips. We want students to experience the atmosphere of a college campus and get a better understanding of what it takes to become admitted to certain colleges as soon as possible in their high school career.”

The Students of Promise program operates in Garfield Heights Middle School, Maple Heights High School and Warrensville Heights middle and high schools.

The Student of Promise Program Director in Cuyahoga County is Bob Ivory. The program is made possible by the Cuyahoga County Family & Children First Council and Cuyahoga County.

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