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Frederick Douglass Academy High School seniors wear their new tie colors for their chosen universities after an early morning announcement ceremony in front of their parents and peers in Los Angeles, Calif., on Tuesday, May 4, 2010. --Photo by: John Lazar Photography
Graduating Seniors Are Wearing Their Futures
Seniors wear the ties of the school they plan to attend
By Brian W. CarterSentinel Staff WriterThe Inner City Education Foundation (ICEF) Public schools put an interesting spin on National Signing Day (NSD), when top high school athletes announce what universities they wish to attend, and had their first annual Academic Signing Day (ASD) on Tuesday, May 4.ASD focuses on the importance of pursuing a higher education and setting goals. As a part of ASD, the first graduating class of Frederick Douglass High School (FDHS) will wear the tie of their chosen college. They will be able to wear them, instead of the high school uniform tie, for the remainder of the school year.In following the footsteps of ICEF's flagship campus, View Park Prep, 100% of the senior class of FDHS intends on going to college. The drop out rate for surrounding and nearby public high schools is 50%.A $1 million in academic scholarships as been awarded to more than 40 seniors that will take place in the ceremony. High school and Middle school students are encouraged to attend in an effort to inspire them to go to college."We are trying to change the stereotype, particularly in South L.A.," said Mike Piscal, founder and CEO of ICEF Public Schools, "that the only way to get into college with a scholarship is through sports," he continues.The event will honor all seniors and will recognize noteworthy graduates who received full scholarships to universities such as Loyola Marymount University, UC Davis, Syracuse University, Tulane University and others. Two students have received very prestigious and decorated scholarships, the Gates Millennium Scholarship and Posse Foundation Scholarship, which pay for all college expenses and tuition for all four years.Founded in 1994, ICEF Public Schools are a network of 15 high-performing public charter schools in South Los Angeles. The organization was created to help minority youth get first-rate education and opportunities. They have sent 100% of their three graduating classes to college. There are 91% of those students still attending college.For more information on ICEF please visit www.icefla.org/.