The end of summer is near and students are preparing to ship off to college. 55 students from sunny California will soon prepare to become a part of the freshman class at Paul Quinn College, a private HBCU in Dallas, Texas, on August 2.
From Pasadena to Compton and even parts of Northern California, the students owe their educational futures to Paul Quinn recruiting specialist Nicole Ford. Ford uses her influence as a Black College Tour guide for her company Stepping in the Right Direction to secure both placement and scholarships for the 55 students.
“I got hired at Paul Quinn because I recruit students for my Black College Tours,” explained Ford. “I take over 300 students per year to visit Black colleges. So, I consider myself an expert on historically Black colleges and universities. I love Paul Quinn so much and I came from a smaller school. The first college that I went to was a Black college called Talladega College. I realized that small schools are great for some students. I find that [for] our students coming from Southern California small schools are better for us.”
The students, who didn’t go to Summer Bridge currently in session at Quinn’s Texas campus gathered together in Altadena to go over important details and to clear up any misconceptions about Paul Quinn’s requirements and life living on campus so far away from home.
“We are looking forward to playing a role in what is going to become an amazing life,” said President Michael J. Sorrell in a taped message. “As you are getting prepared to make that trek east, we just want to say get here as quickly as you can. We miss you already. We’re excited to see you and we’ll see you in a few weeks.”
The reception that happened on July 12 was to inform the California based students about the school and get to know their future fellow Paul Quinn classmates. About 20 of the perspective students were in attendance.
“[Attending Paul Quinn College] will benefit me because this type of school prepares us for the world, as far as having a job and dressing professionally,” said RaeLisha Frank, who is planning to register this August as a nursing major.
Taylor Bell, a student from Lakewood High, looks forward to going to college in August.
“I always wanted to go to a historically Black college or university,” said Bell, who plans on majoring in business. “This is a small school and it’s cheap. I am basically going for free. I also feel like Texas is a cool place to live and start a new, fresh start.”
Paul Quinn is associated with the African Methodist Episcopal Church with 200 students currently enrolled. Being one of the oldest colleges west of the Mississippi, Paul Quinn College was founded in 1872 in Austin, Texas, by a small group of African Methodist Episcopal preachers at Metropolitan A.M.E. Church. The college relocated to southeast Dallas, Texas, in 1990 after it acquired the former campus of Bishop College.
For more information on Paul Quinn College, go to www.pqc.edu. For more information about Stepping in the Right Direction’s Black College tours, go to www.steppingintherightdirection.com.