Elementary school students get head start on college with Atlanta trip

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Mid-South elementary school students are getting a jump start on college by visiting historically black colleges in Atlanta, Georgia.

The motto for Hanley Elementary School is "college for certain." On Thursday, they took that saying out of the classroom.

With anxious parents and grandparents like Maxine Banks watching, fourth graders like Banks' granddaughter Deonna Horton packed their bags and boarded a bus on a trip to Atlanta.

"I'm feeling excited and nervous at the same time," Horton said.

Nine-year-old Deonna is one of 24 children embarking on the tour. She's nervous because she, like many of her classmates, she has never left Tennessee.

"I'm excited because I can go to Atlanta and experience the times with my friends and see how Spellman can look," Deonna said.

The trip was the idea of Horton's teacher Ayo Akinmoladun. On their two day adventure, the students will visit Spellman and Morehouse Colleges. The school was able to raise the $5,000 necessary through fundraisers and donations. One of those donations was from Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley for $500.

"It's about bonding with their classmates," says Akinmoladun. "It's about bonding with their teachers. It's about taking them out of their community and showing them that this world has so much to offer."

Students like Deonna can feel comfortable knowing their future has a lot to offer, including a college education.

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