Local program exposes at risk teens to college life

Edward Waters College Black Male College Explorers program raising funds

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The goal is to help at risk African- American teens expand their horizons when it comes to their education.  It's called the Edward Waters College Black Male College Explorers program, designed to prevent black males in 7 to 12 grades from dropping out of high school.

The boys will move on campus over the summer and experience college life, and organizers are raising money to make it happen.

Organizers say the program has two phases. The year round phase focuses on SAT and ACT workshops. The second phase during the summer includes living on college campus.

One participant in his fourth year says, "The experience is very good. It allows you to have brotherhood, it allows you to be around a group of males just like yourself, to empower."

Another participant says, "I have really grown in the area of being responsible and things of that nature. And also in being just a better man. They taught me tying ties and shaking a hand correctly and things like that.

Another participant, in the program for two years says, "When I first came in I was a little scared there were a lot of people I didn't know. But they took me in as their own little brother and things were good from there on."

The program also helps facilitate their admission to college; and significantly increase their chances of earning a college degree. These students were classified as at-risk by parents and the schools they attended. There are 40 participants in the program this summer, and the Black Male College Explorers program would like to raise $114,000 to add approximately 40 participants for Summer 2015.

To find out more information about the program or to donate visit:


The following is a breakdown of costs for the program:

Program Uniform: $318.50 ($318.50 x 40 students = $12,740.00)

Supplies: $100.00 ($100 x 40 students = $4,000.00)

Welcome Reception/Banquet: $87.50 ($3,500/40 students)

Residential Housing: $425.00 ($17 daily per student x 25 days = $17,000)

Breakfast Lunch & Dinner Residential Meals: $294.00 (11.76 x 25 days = $11,760.00)

In-City Fieldtrips: In-City Fieldtrips$125.00 ($5,000/40 students)

24 Hour Staff Supervision/Academic Instructors: $875.00 ($35,000/40 students)

Culminating Trip: $625.00 ($25,000/40 students)

Total per male: $2,850.00 X 40 participants

Total fundraising goal: $114,000