College-Bound Students Recognized in Lansing's 'Decision Day'

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Lansing, Mich. (WILX) Signing Day isn't just for college-bound athletes anymore. Lansing School District is recognizing students for getting accepted into college.

'College Decision Day' was held Thursday at Lansing's Everett High School and Eastern High School and administrators hope highlighting this kind of success will encourage more students to pursue higher education.

"The school district is very interested in our students and their well-being after," said Norman Gear, principal at Everett.

'Be it college or university, or be it the workforce... these students have been so successful we figured we needed to do something to celebrate that success."

TaPara Simmons, who is graduating from Everett and going on to study psychology at University of Michigan, said he's encouraged the district is holding events to recognize academic achievements.

"This is totally cool activity for everyone to do," he said.

"I think it'll really give everyone more excitement about going to college because I think a lot of students have a lot of apprehension."

For Taven Thuma, who has been accepted to Michigan State, she said Thursday's event was a nice way to celebrate senior year with her classmates.

"Not everyone gets to go to a big university so to see that a lot of my classmates are going to universities and going to go make something of themselves, it's a huge deal," she said.

The majority of the 98 seniors recognized at Everett Thursday planned to attend either Lansing Community College, Michigan State University or Lansing Community College.

"I feel so blessed, so blessed I'm just happy and I've had so many people to support me," said student Kalynn Williams. "Makes me feel like I'm not just a number, that I'm special to the community."

The event was organized by the Michigan College Access Network, which has held similar events at other schools across the state.

"We want to make sure we have a college-going culture here at Everett and across the district," said Sarah Anthony, an Everett alum and member of the Access Network.

"These kids are energized, they are pumped up to go somewhere."

Anthony said it's important to make sure there are opportunities outside of athletics for students to celebrate success.

"There's a number of schools across the state that are putting on what's called Decision Day," she said.

"We believe that students should celebrate these types of college decisions just like they would if they were going to play basketball or football, we want to make sure that's celebrated just as much as the athletics."

Frank Romo, a counselor associate with the Access Network worked with Everett students this semester to help them choose and apply to different universities and colleges.

"As a first generation college student myself, it's not about necessarily changing the mindset of the students to get ready for college but introducing them to that mindset,' he said.

"So many students have not been introduced to that idea of college, or maybe they have an idea but don't know what it entails."

'Decision Day' is scheduled for May 8 at Lansing Sexton High School.

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