Bethune-Cookman Exposes Butler Middle School Girls To College Life

Congresswoman Corrine Brown and 12 girls from a struggling middle school in Jacksonville toured Bethune-Cookman University on Monday, highlighting the role of Historically Black Colleges and Universities in helping disadvantaged youths attend college.

The girls, dressed in school uniforms, attend Butler Middle School, which in the past 12 years earned mostly D’s and F’s on its state report card. With high rates of single-family households and financial obstacles, many students at the school don’t attend college.

“Historically black colleges play a role and a school like Bethune-Cookman is the bedrock, and that’s why I brought these girls here today,” said Brown, D-Jacksonville, whose distric includes part of West Volusia. “They provide the kind of environment and support that our children need.”

Brown used the time on campus to meet privately with some school officials to discuss the state of HBCU’s and what can be done in Washington to secure more funding. B-CU President Edison Jackson was out of town and missed the dialogue, officials said.

The visit came as some alumni are concerned about the resignation in January of the school’s vice president of fiscal affairs in the midst of a $72 million project to build new residence halls.

Brown said she is confident the school is headed in the right direction.

“I think the leadership at Bethune-Cookman knows exactly where they are going and how they are going,” she said. “I’m very impressed. I can’t tell you the number of times Jackson has come to Washington to testify before Congress or committees. Every time I call him, he comes. He’s heading in the right direction. And if you look around this campus, it is absolutely gorgeous. They are doing a good job.”



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