Families gathered at Trinity Washington University in Northeast D.C. on Thursday to celebrate Coolidge Senior High School students graduating from a new, innovative program.
The Trinity-Coolidge High School Early College Program is one the initiatives the college created in partnership with D.C. Public Schools and the D.C. Office of the State Superintendent for Education.
D.C. Public Schools’ Chancellor Dr. Lewis Ferebee first met the students when they started the program and spoke at their graduation.
“Knowing that our students have an edge on earning a livable wage is a key part of the vitality of the city,” Ferebee said. “They’re a step ahead in their journey of establishing themselves in their careers and their education, which we think is important.”
At the ceremony, 36 of the programs’ students were officially accepted to Trinity to complete bachelor’s degree programs. And this spring, they will earn their high school degrees and an associate of arts degree from the university.
The program is designed to develop academic plans for each student, and to assist them in navigating the successful completion of their degrees.
Kalynn Tobin is part of the program’s first class and will be attending Hampton University, majoring in computer science.
“I never thought I would be leaving with this amount of experience,” Tobin said. “I’ve never heard about people that have achieved stuff like this.”
Trinity is also offering the students a three-year, $17,000 scholarship to complete their degrees. Twenty-four of the students also made the dean’s list, which requires students to maintain a minimum 3.5 GPA.
Emile Kpadea is undecided on where she will attend in the fall, but she knows she will major in psychology and has already received a full-ride scholarship from Johns Hopkins University.
“I’m very proud, especially as a young Black woman whose parents immigrated here, and I’m [a first-generation college student],” Kpadea said.
There are three other special program cohorts following this one and the university is now accepting the fifth cohort group.