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Raines High School celebrates College Signing Day

Raines, Ribault students took part in criminal justice pilot program this year

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Hundreds of students at Raines High School gathered Friday in the auditorium to take part in their College Signing Day.

It was the first time the school has held this type of event -- inviting parents to celebrate the college-bound students.

Some of the schools that students will be attending include the University of Florida, Florida State University, University of North Florida, Jacksonville University, Florida A&M University, Bethune-Cookman University and Edward Waters College.

The students also got to sign a banner that will be hung at the school after they've graduated.

"To go to college and do the things we want to do, it's just inspiring because it's, like, 'Hey, the people before us didn't have this opportunity and now that we do, we should take advantage of it and work with it,''" said Tatyiana Hayes, who will be attending FAMU. 

The seniors hope this event will motivate the other students to attend college.

"Always have that Viking mentality -- be the best," said Derrell Smith, who will also be attending FAMU. "Don't just be something just to be it. Strive to be the best in whatever you do."

Click here to watch video of the event and keynote speech.

High school students to have opportunity to study criminal justice

Duval County students will have the opportunity next year to study criminal justice in high school while earning college credit. 

Raines and Ribault high schools partnered with EWC to offer courses in criminal justice to students. About 50 students took part in the pilot program this year, and many of the lessons took them outside the classroom. 

"They participated in field trips to the courts. They learned about positions of the baliffs, of the judges, of the jurors," Raines High School Principal Vincent Hall said. "Many of them had the opportunity to do CSI (crime scene investigator) work here on our campus, so they have now piqued an interest."