BMW Academy grads commit to college

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – It can be hard going from high school to college, and deciding where to go isn’t easy either.

Thursday night, a group of young men committed to the schools they’ll attend in the fall, at a ceremony in front of their friends and family.

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17 young men announced where their academic talents will be taking them in the fall. The ceremony was a celebration of hard work put in by these seniors during their academic careers.

Since middle school, all 17 of these graduates have been part of the black males working academy. The academy, a partnership with Fayette County Schools, began 14 years ago, out of the realization that African-American male students weren’t performing as well in class as other students.

“The mission of BMW Academy is to educate, motivate and to activate the potential for excellence that lies within all young men of color,” said Executive Director Roszalyn Akins.

The program helps teach the students how to be successful in school and life, through what the academy’s executive director calls the “well principles.”

“Young men are to be well mannered, well dressed, well spoken, well read, well traveled, and all of that leads to them being well prepared,” said Akins.

Well prepared is how graduating members of the BMW say they feel, explaining that the program helped get them to where they are now.

“They helped us with our letters, they helped us with our act scores, interviews, personal statements,” said graduate Zion Walker. “Just everything along the way can be tied and I’m very thankful to the BMW program.”

Not only did the academy give these young men the skills they needed to get into, and succeed at, their colleges of choice, but the grads say it gave them a family, and support system they can always count on.

“These are my brothers and this is a relationship and a bond that will not go away,” said Walker.