The SJF Foundation prepares for a university road trip

LIMA — The sunny states of North Carolina and Florida will soon see more than 40 young adults from the Lima area as they visit four historically black colleges/universities.

The Smith-Jones Family Foundation hits the road again for its annual educational field trip to Lima. The tour will take place October 12-16, offering students the unique opportunity to live the college experience. Students will visit Central North Carolina University, North Carolina A&T State University, Bethune Cookman University, and Edward Waters University.

As we’ve seen even in films like “College Road Trip” (a comic portrayal of a father taking his daughter to the college of her choice), visiting a college campus can be a monumental experience that sets the stage for a student’s future.

The SJF Foundation began in 2018 when members of the local community decided to be the change they wanted to see in young people in the city of Lima.

“The foundation started in 2018. As a former educator, I have always been a huge supporter of education,” said Londell Smith, spokesperson for the SJF Foundation. “We are organizing our third annual educational excursion to Lima. Since 2018, we have awarded over $23,000 in literary scholarships.

“It’s our way of bringing kids to campus. I want to thank Charles Brown. He was our former principal at Lima Senior. He used to make these trips and we just brought him back to life. Outside of travel, he would orchestrate a lot of graduating kids. We said instead of reinventing the wheel, let’s start over,” Smith said.

Former participants of the program will help along the journey as students.

“We have students in three of the four schools we attend,” Smith added. “They will lead the tour and show them around. This allows students to see their peers, people who were in high school just a few years ago and are now succeeding and encouraging other young people.

“A lot of people in our workforce are retiring. Many jobs in this community will require a college degree. We believe that we are working with the account engineers, HR managers and other professionals of tomorrow. We take it upon ourselves to ensure that students come through school, not just school,” he said.

Enrollment is always open for eighth through high school students at any school. The visit costs $550. Scholarships and payment plans are available. Students will not only have the chance to visit the campuses, but also to experience an HBSU football game and participate in a day at the beach. The fee will also include round-trip transportation by chartered bus, hotel stays, meals, and activities during the tour.

To register contact the SJF Foundation at 419-236-8947 or by email at [email protected]

About Derrick Hill

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