ORLANDO — Twelve members of FAMU’s Royal Court took a trip to Tangelo Park Elementary School in Orlando on Friday. It was one of their stops over the weekend of the Florida Classic, as the court went to speak with a mixed group of second- and third-grade students.
“I hope the kids realize that they can beat the odds because the FAMU Royal Court is a group of culturally diverse students that have beat the odds,” said royal escort Hema Hasona.
The men of the court accompanied the boys during lunch and the women of the court hung out with the girls in their classroom. After playing a game of concentration, the kids started to talk dreams and goals.
“What do you all want to be when you grow up?” asked freshman attendant Christelle Haygood? The youngsters responded with a variety of answers. “A doctor! A writer! A singer!”
Tangelo Park Elementary School is a majority minority school, with a minority enrollment of 90 percent. The majority of the students are black.
“The visual impact of them coming from FAMU and representing a HBCU is powerful for our demographics,” said assistant principal Eboni Montenegro.
The Royal Court serves as ambassadors for FAMU and goes on multiple recruitment trips led by Mister and Miss FAMU. This semester they’ve traveled to speak with prospective students in different cities like Albany and Atlanta in Georgia, Tampa, and now Orlando.
Although this trip was catered to elementary school students, it’s never too early to spark the conversation about college in young people, especially minorities.
Tangelo Park Elementary is one of 146 elementary schools in the Orange County School District. There are 350 students from the preschool to fifth grade. According to the school’s website, its mission is “to lead our students to success with the support and involvement of families and the community.”
“I am hopeful that through their connection today, students will be motivated and want to have the opportunity to attend a college of their choice,” said Montenegro.