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A group of African-American teenagers in Atlanta has taken #BlackExcellence in academia to the next level. The students were selected to receive scholarship funds to join Harvard University’s distinguished summer residency program.

The Harvard Debate Council Diversity Project, which is based in Atlanta, was designed as an avenue to help teens living in underserved communities overcome obstacles surrounding barriers to education. The program also aims to mold future social and political leaders who are dedicated to changing the landscape of the urban Atlanta community. The project’s participants will be trained by Harvard professors between January and June to prepare them for their summer residency at the university’s campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The preparation phase of the program will take place at the Art Institute of Atlanta.

The 25 students were surprised and ecstatic when they found out they were selected to participate in the program during the Inaugural Harvard Debate Council Diversity Project Surprise Reveal. All of those involved in the project are dedicated to molding the future leaders of tomorrow.

“We know that education, in all its forms, is a transformative force for the common good. We also know that it does start with a dialogue that uplifts, energizes, motivates, and enables young adults to embark on a path that will lead them to achieve their dreams,” President Newton Myvett, The Art Institute of Atlanta in a press release. “We are unleashing creativity, empowering people, and impacting the places where we live, love, and learn in unprecedented ways—giving shape to the boldest dreams and noblest causes.”

According to a press release, Harvard is looking to raise $88,000 to cover scholarship costs for the students. So far, the Art Institute of Atlanta has contributed $10,500.

Black teens are making major strides in the realm of academia. Last year, 14-year-old Carson Huey-You became the youngest graduate of Texas Christian University where he received a science degree.


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#BlackExcellence: 25 Black Atlanta Teens Selected For Harvard’s Summer Residency  was originally published on