National Collegiate Preparatory High School, located in the heart of Ward 8, celebrated its fifth straight year of a 100 percent graduation and college-acceptance rate.
To highlight the accomplishment of their “dedicated students,” a benchmark event was held Wednesday, April 12, with over 60 seniors wearing clothing and holding banners representing their future colleges and universities, including Cornell, Howard and Maryland.
During the event, participants, including nearly 160 community members took part in an elaborate pinning ceremony for the female students and a gold tie presentation for the boys.
Maurice Douglas, the electives department chair, music director and senior class coordinator, relished the success of his students.
“The most important thing for us to do is to show these students that they matter, and that their academic success and college acceptance is worthy of celebrating,” Douglas said. “Our students come from the most economically-challenged ward in the District of Columbia where just coming to school and going home daily can be a life or death situation.
“Last fall, we lost a stellar graduate, Zoruan Otto Harris, to street violence as he was pushing citizens out of the way of a gunman at the Dorsey Day family event,” he said. “We cannot afford to lose any more of our children. We want the community to join us in celebrating our students’ passion, dedication and perseverance over enormous odds and temptations to which they are exposed on a daily basis.”
Established in 2009 under the leadership and direction of Jennifer L. Ross, founder and executive director, and Dianne G. Brown, National Collegiate Preparatory High School was founded to provide inner city children a nurturing environment and create an opportunity for children of Ward 8 to go to college and have successful, lifelong careers.
Ross boasted of the power of the school’s dedication and education, pointing out that many students enter the doors of the high school reading at only third- and fourth-grade levels.
“What we believe is [the students] get a first-rate private high school education here for the price of a uniform,” Ross said. “We support them academically, socially and emotionally, because teenagers need additional support.”