Photo by Brenda Wells About 30 9th grade students from the Mitchell High School Freshman Success Initiative were treated to a two-day overnight trip to four nearby colleges, the University of Tennessee at Martin, Fisk University, Lipscomb University (pictured), and Tennessee State University, on February 21-22, 2019, as a reward for having good grades, good attendance, and good behavior. The students, who are participants in the new Stand for Children network, stayed overnight at the Drury Hotel in Franklin, TN. chapel, the admission officers were very informative and persuasive. Mitchell freshmen learned of the hard work and sacrifice that the Jubilee singers made to keep this college afloat. Many colleges have a superstition not to step on a certain spot or that student will not graduate. However, Fisk says its oval is sacred because it is the actual burial ground of some slaves and it contains remnants of the Underground Railroad. The rain did not bother the individuals who were sincere in learning all that they could about college life. Lipscomb also rolled out the red carpet for the ninth graders. They gave them a bag with a nice t-shirt, informational materials, and other forget-me-nots. They treated the students like VIP’s while they toured the private college. The students realized that a high grade point average, high scores on the ACT or SAT, and quality preparation are key to maximize scholarships at most universities. TSU offered another host of experiences. Oge Hullum shared, “I felt like I can be myself freely on TSU campus. Fisk is very historical and focused on education. Lipscomb seems upscale, and UT Martin is large enough for exploration, but also small enough to feel comfy away from home.” The students dined at the food court and continued to learn about how to study abroad, how to succeed, and how to take advantage of golden opportunities. The young men and women enjoyed their field trip. “Jakira Dixon added, “The teachers were cool. I like that they took us to the Opry Mills Mall; it was large, but the prices were lower than the ones in Memphis. The dinner and breakfast buffet at Drury Plaza Hotel in Franklin, TN was filling and convenient. Slim and Husky’s was the best pizzeria, because everyone could customize their own pizzas by choosing the sauces, cheeses, veggies, and meats. They even had salmon and shrimp available!” The freshmen appreciated being rewarded by the Mitchell High Freshman Success Team. They were thankful that they were rewarded for good grades, good attendance, and good conduct. After all, a child’s freshman year is pivotal, and it matters! 2

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