North Tulsa Students Accepted Into Prestigious College Summer Programs
TULSA, Oklahoma - Two North Tulsa students will be attending summer programs at two different prestigious universities.
Both girls are the first in their families to step foot on a college campus, but they won't be able to go without help from the community.
"I felt honored to be at a college and honored to set a trend in my family and not only for my family but for other people in the community who are like me,” said Booker T. Washington Junior Delashay Lawrence.
Delashay Lawrence, a junior at Booker T. Washington, attended Harvard's Summer Program last year and finished the semester with straight As.
“It just kind of showed me what college would be like, which I loved,” said Lawrence. “Walking the campus every day felt good for me.”
Now, this summer Delashay is heading to Stanford and influencing other students, like Aaliyah Nelson, along the way.
“We come from the same side of town, and I want to give it a shot,” said Nelson.
Now, Aaliyah has an acceptance letter to show for it.
"I was like - 'I got into Harvard,' and then I started crying,” said Nelson. “I called my Paw Paw, my aunties; I was just calling people."
Aaliyah and Delashay met through the Soaring Eagles Program, a non-profit that encourages young girls to break the cycle of incarceration and teen pregnancy.
"These girls are doing it. They’re changing the trajectory of their life and that’s huge," said Premadonna Braddick.
A view, Director Premadonna Braddick hopes to change about North Tulsa.
“We won’t hear about McLain High School what a high pregnancy rate and dropout rate, but we will start hearing that these girls are applying to Ivy League schools,” said Braddick.
Aaliyah told Braddick if it hadn't been for Soaring Eagles, she probably would've dropped out of school, but now she has bigger dreams.
"I was the first one at McLain, the first one in my family to go, and now for once I've got something to be proud of," said Nelson.
However, these programs come with a hefty price tag.
Nearly $45,000 is needed for both Aaliyah and Delashay attend, and if they can't get the money, they won't be able to go.
“I have faith that God will get me where I have my heart and mind set on going,” said Lawrence.
“Giving money to these girls and investing in their education is saying that you believe in them and you’re cheering them on, and they don’t have to worry about any barriers of why they cannot attend,” said Braddick.