DENVER (KDVR) — A group of East High School students is working to raise money for a trip to Atlanta to visit historically Black colleges and universities, and they need your help.
This all has to do with their future college ambitions.
“I come from a single-parent home, five kids, all of my little brothers are Black. I need to set the example for my little brothers,” Elias Goss said. He and his twin brother, Elijah, are two of the top high school speakers and debaters in the nation.
Both of them, along with Landen Holloway, serve as co-presidents of a group affiliated with East High called Young Educated Black Men. School officials say the group is important and inspirational.
“The group is a space for young Black men here at this building to come, sit down and really embrace each other once a week,” Kamaree Perkins said. He’s the restorative practice coordinator at East High School. “We’ve gone to plays, we’ve did a Nuggets game as a group. And our next goal is to raise money, go to Atlanta, go see some HBCUs.”
“All these entrepreneurs saying, ‘Hey, don’t go to college, work for me and this pyramid scheme and you’ll make a million dollars,'” Elias explained. “College has come less and less important throughout the years, and the people taking the biggest hits are HBCUs.”
HBCU enrollment may be on the rise
Goss isn’t far off. The percentage of Black students enrolled at HBCUs fell from 18% in 1976 to 8% in 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. But since then, there has been a small jump in enrollment at HBCUs, despite a noticeable dip in enrollment for colleges in general.
These juniors are now reaching out to everyone they know ahead of launching a fundraiser next week for a spring tour of HBCUs in Atlanta.
“I went and I joined a couple Facebook groups, I made a post and I put it in there, and instantly, I get 17 emails and I was like, oh my God, this is a blessing,” Elijah said.
For a school mired in so much unfavorable attention lately, these juniors are focused on changing the perception in favor of student success.
“We have great Black men out here in the world that are trying to make a change,” Holloway said.
The group plans on launching its crowdfunding campaign on Monday through a fundraising platform called Snap! Raise.
That link goes active on Monday, so they’re trying to collect as many email pledges as they can beforehand. You can make a pledge by emailing email@example.com.