For the first time in Ballou High School history, every single senior at the predominately Black school applied to college this year. Just think: Last year, only 57 percent of their students graduated.
According to The Washington Post, Ballou, which is located in the one of the district’s poorest neighborhoods, has long-held a negativereputation and many students who attend the school end up dropping out. In 2016, only 3 percent of Ballou students tested met reading standards on citywide standardized exams and almost none met math standards.
But despite those obstacles, the school’s administration is dedicated to showing their students that college can be in their future.
“There are some schools and communities where college is an automatic next step. There is no celebration,” Ballou principal Yetunde Reeves told the newspaper.
“Our kids don’t get that same message. We are trying to create an environment where going to college is what Ballou does as well.”
Many have applied to the city’s public University of the District of Columbia; others have targeted HBCUs such as Tennessee State University and North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University; and some are applying to larger state schools such as Penn State and Temple. For many of these students, they will be the first in their family to attend a four-year college, the WaPo noted.
Ballou college and career coordinator Jamanda Porter is being credited for this amazing feat.
“We are meeting our students where they are, but we are pushing them to higher expectations,” Porter explained.
It’s not known if all of theses students will graduate from high school or even enroll in college, but Porter says the school is committed to helping every student get a diploma. And for some, just applying to college gives students hope for the future Ballou’s assistant principal Shamele Straughter stressed.
“Now they have choice. That is the beauty of this entire thing — you get to pick,” Straughter said. “I am excited about seeing what the acceptance rate is going to be.”
Congrats to the class of 2017! We are rooting for you!
1. MJ was a victim of physical abuse from his father as a child. In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, he shed tears and claimed that he was so terrified of his father that he would often vomit when he saw him.
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2. His favorite animated character from childhood was Pinocchio.
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3. When MJ listened to the songs from his days in The Jackson 5, he said he sounded like “Minnie Mouse.”
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4. His middle name was Joseph – Michael Joseph Jackson.
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5. “Billie Jean” is allegedly based on a true story. MJ claims an obsessive fan tried to say he was the father of her child.
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6. His first song to hit the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart was “Ben” in 1972.
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7. MJ was a huge Beatles fan. He paid $47 million for the publishing rights to the Beatles back catalogue in 1985 and sold a share of it to Sony in 1995 for $95 million.
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8. Get this… The costumes for the “Thriller” video came from the Salvation Army.
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9. Jackson invented and owns the patent for the special anti-gravity boots he wore that allowed him to lean forward extremely far in live performances of “Smooth Criminal.”
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10. MJ loved animals, and had several…strange pets. He had a python called Crusher, two llamas called Louis and Lola, and his most famous pet was Bubbles, the chimpanzee.
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11. Sources say MJ “borrowed” the Moonwalk from street dancers he saw outside a hotel.
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12. The original song title for “Thriller” was “Starlight.”
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13. Sources say MJ slept in an oxygen tent to live longer and for cosmetic purposes.
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14. MJ was a proud owner of a 2,700-acre Neverland Ranch that has a theme park, a menagerie, and a movie theater.
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15. “Home Alone” star Macaulay Culkin was one of MJ’s closest friends, and is the godfather of two of Jackson’s children.
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16. MJ’s estate signed a deal with Sony that gave them access to his unreleased recordings for $250 million.
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17. MJ often wore a black armband to remind people of the suffering of children around the world.
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18. The Los Angeles mansion he was renting just before he passed away once belonged to Sean Connery.
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19. MJ was allegedly a pretty avid reader… He was once accused by a library of owing $1 million in overdue book fines.
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20. Wikipedia, Twitter, and AOL’s Instant Messenger all crashed at 3:15PM on the day MJ died: June 25, 2009.
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Continue reading BEAUTIFUL NEWS: The Entire Senior Class At This Predominantly Black School Applied To College
20 Things You Didn’t Know About The Legendary Michael Jackson