DALLAS — Some sixth and seventh grade students in Dallas Independent School District can say they are one step closer to realizing their college dreams.
Students at the Frederick D. Haynes III Global Preparatory Academy learned they would be receiving acceptance letters to Paul Quinn College. The announcement was solidified during a ceremonial "Signing Day" event on Thursday afternoon.
There was a certain sense of excitement, as Haynes Global Prep Academy students marched from their new building on the Paul Quinn College campus to a gymnasium.
“We get to see things that people have never seen. And we have different opportunities,” said seventh grader Xavier Gutierrez.
The Haynes Global Preparatory Academy is a new and small middle school that opened in 2021. It’s the first Dallas ISD school of it’s kind on an historically Black college and university campus.
The students and their families are beaming with pride and excitement, knowing the connection to the campus and the students’ future college careers are about to become greater.
Paul Quinn College President Dr. Michael Sorrell gathered with the school’s namesake Rev. Dr. Frederick D. Haynes III, and the Haynes Global Preparatory Academy community to announce each student would receive acceptance into the historic college, upon successful graduation from high school.
“I want to go to college because most of my family members didn’t, and I want to be that one person that changes everything,” said Gutierrez.
Remember, the students are sixth and seventh graders right now. They already have guaranteed commitment letters to a college, in hand. Most students get college acceptance letters their senior year of high school.
School administrators describe the partnership between Paul Quinn College and Dallas ISD as promising.
"By us giving students a college acceptance letter at the age of 11 and 12-years-olds, we are truly living out our vision and mission and allowing our students to dream,” said the school’s principal, Dr. Christopher Barksdale.
About 90 middle schoolers received the college acceptance letter during the inaugural Signing Day ceremony.
“Now that it is a guarantee that I’m being accepted to a college, it makes me even more excited to go,” said seventh grader Aliya Randolph.
The students said they know their families are proud and excited about their futures.