Last Spring, Hope CommUnity Center sophomores and juniors embarked on a four-day, four-college tour to Tallahassee, Gainesville, and Daytona. One of the colleges they visited was Bethune-Cookman University, an Historically Black College and University founded in 1904 by Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune. For many of the students, the concept of an HBCU was new to them but they instantly felt a sense of familiarity and belonging. One of the youth who joined the college tour was Carlos Ruiz, who remarked about his visits with BCU and FAMU,

“The other colleges asked for a lot of things that people like me don’t have. I liked that the HBCU’s were more diverse and offered more opportunities for people like me. They want me to graduate high school and have a meaningful college experience.”

Recently, the Florida Senate passed a resolution 37-0 in favor of Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune replacing Confederate General Edmund Kirby Smith at the National Statuary Hall in Washington D.C. and to become the first African American woman represented there.

Hope CommUnity Center joins in the celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. Bethune for overcoming adversity, providing educational opportunities for marginalized people, and advocating for Black women while serving with President Roosevelt.