Our Howard Student

Ile Omode Alum at Howard Helps Coordinate the College Tour

KaRa Awakoaiye (class of 2012) was quite familiar with the middle school college tour - remembering her favorite trip to Atlanta when she was just a 6th grader. She received a call from her baba, the school’s director in early spring. There were a few snags in the planning, and he suddenly was hoping for a trip to Under Armour in Baltimore.

In just so happens that KaRa, a junior at Howard University studying marketing and data analytics, interned at Under Armour just the previous summer. She leveraged her contacts at Under Armour and facilitated organizing a tour of the company’s headquarters in Baltimore. In only took a few emails and perhaps a phone call, and the trip was solidified. But she was done.

Baba Jahi was hoping for a more personal tour at Howard University, and this time reached out to three Ile Omode alums attending Howard. Along with KaRa, they include freshman, Adeya Wyatt (c’18) and KaRa’s brother, Khukheper Awakoaiye (c’18). Both were college tour veterans with Khukheper touring Howard during his 7th grade year in 2013. While KaRa reached out to the admissions office to gather material and information for the tours, the three together recruited their friends from Howard, and they put together a wonderful tour for our students.

Ile Omode students are showing themselves adept at continuing and helping to expand the reach of our college tours, as we continue to keep sending more students to college.

2019 College Tour to D.C.

25 students participated in the school's 7th college tour - visiting Howard University, Morgan State University, and Coppin State University as well as historic sites in the area.

An Incredible Trip to the
Nation's Capital

Middle school students experienced Ile Omode's 4th college tour to Washington, DC; visiting the city from April 22 to the 27th, including one day in Baltimore, Maryland.

Day 0
Departing from SFO

Students met at SFO for the school’s 7th Middle School College Tour. Twenty-five families gathered at the curbside to give final hugs and say goodbyes to our middle schoolers.

Day 1
The National Mall

After a short night’s rest (we didn’t check-in until 3 in the morning - thank you Hertz Rental) we enjoyed the continental breakfast and headed to the National Mall. Students visited the African-American Museum on the mall, and had a chance to see the Jones-Hall-Simms House, one of the few preserved homes from the reconstruction period, built by a freedman in the 1870s. We also enjoyed the Dr. Martin Lurther King, Jr. Memorial, and students studied several of his many quotes chiseled in the granite, such as, “We shall overcome because the arc of the moral universe if long, but it bends toward justice”.

Day 2
South African Embassy, Howard University, African-American Civil War Museum, Dr. Carter G. Woodson Memorial

We had a good night’s rest and started a gorgeous day at the South African Embassy on Embassy Row in DC. Students received a great presentation from the Ms Zamangwane Ngwane, the Third Secretary Public Diplomacy. She shared the differences between living in the US versus South Africa. After a picture next to the embassy’s statue of Nelson Mandela, we journeyed across town to Howard University. The tour was organized by Ile Omode alums, KaRa Awakoaiye (c’12) and Khukheper Awakoaiye (c’14), and they recruited fellow classmates to lead small group tours. Adeya Wyatt (c’14) and Khukheper are members of Howard’s Bison STEM program, for students groomed for Ph.D. studies, and they coordinated with the program’s director, Ron Smith, to offer a panel discussion with members of the program. Students learned about the excitement of STEM studies, and the possibility of pursuing post doctoral studies. After Howard, we walked to the African American Civil War Museum and had a fascinating presentation from one of the museum’s staffers. He had students marching in formation like real union soldiers. Later, we walked a little further to the Dr. Carter G. Woodson memorial park, and then students had dinner at either Ben’s Chili Bowl or Ohs and Ahs. Great day.

Day 3
Under Armour, Coppin State, and Morgan State

This was our journey away from Washington, DC, and our school’s first visit to Baltimore, Maryland since our first trip in 2009. Under Armour is headquartered in Baltimore, and our alum, KaRa Awakoaiye (c’12) interned there last summer, and through her contacts secured a special tour for our students. We took a harbor ferry to the headquarters, and saw the facility where Curry “gets his shoes”, according to one student. Afterwards, we visited Coppin State University, and later had a long visit at Morgan State University. Both colleges were great, but students really loved Morgan (although several declared Coppin their favorite). Students learned one of Morgan State’s songs, “We are the Best”. There was a song battle between the boys and girls, and the girls beat the boys handedly. We returned to DC and had a nice dinner at a local mexican restaurant.

Day 4
Frederick Douglass’ Home, National Archives, Smithsonian and a trip to the White House

We visited Frederick Douglass’ home, a required stop on the college tours, as well as the National Archives, which houses the declaration of independence. Douglass’ home shows his influence during the time, and the careful preservation of his home invites students to see this great figure’s life as a real person. Just down the street from the archives is the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, which is always a favorite with the students. Our final stop on the day was a visit to see the White House. With President Barack Obama out of office it certainly lacked the interest, and students erupted in song; singing the Black National anthem in response to Trump supporters at the White House.

Day 5
Mary McLeod Bethune's Home, the movies, and a Semi-Formal Dinner

The final day of our trip to DC. We began the morning at Mary McLeod Bethune’s historic home, standing at the desk and conference table where she lead the National Council of Negro Woman. It began raining later, and we changed plans, and were able to score tickets to Avengers:Endgame. When finished the day with our semi-formal dinner, and students had a wonderful time (chaperones too).