DENVER - If you walk around the University of Denver campus, the reality is you will not find a lot of African-American students, especially men. That's why for the 4th year in a row, the school put together a program with hopes of changing the future.
"We have this event because we recognize that in our community, African-American men are going into college at lower rates than any other population," Tracey Adams-Peters, DU's Director of Inclusive Excellence, Student Success, saidand Leadership Development. "It is important for our young men to understand there is access to college."
A few dozen Black male students from high schools and middle schools around the Metro area had an opportunity to experience the campus, talk to professors, and attend workshops focused on topics like leadership.
"It's a pretty good experience for me to get to know other Black students," said Kelvin Oteng, a sophomore from Aurora Central High School. "It's a really good experience to get to know the college and maybe think about coming here."
Adams-Peters says being immersed in the campus can be an important motivator.
"You really have to envision yourself in the place you want to be," Adams-Peters said. "It is important for our young men to be on a college campus."
Students also learned about trying to change the public perception of Black males in society by meeting different business and community leaders from around Colorado.
"I think it's an excellent opportunity for us to really change the way we Black men in Colorado are perceived," said Brandon Cole, a sophomore from Cherokee Trail High School in Aurora. "We want to be perceived in a more positive light."
Right now, Adams-Peters say the percentage of African-American students at DU is about 3 percent with men making up a total of only one percent. She hopes this program can make a difference in those numbers.
"It's absolutely necessary that we transform this institution," said Adams-Peters.