One by one, members of the LEAD Academy Class of 2018 approached a representative from the college of their choice, handed him or her their application, shook hands, smiled, and walked away with varying degrees of swag: pennants, stickers, banners, etc.
 
More importantly, by 2:32 this afternoon, 100 percent of the LEAD Academy Class of 2018 had applied to college.
 
LEAD Academy’s College Application Party, in its fifth year, allows students the opportunity to meet one-on-one with a college rep to officially hand-in their actual application. The goal is to celebrate the kick-off to college application season and get real-life face-time with the representatives, organizers said.
 
“For the first time, our seniors have a name and a face and a handshake and a smile to help guide them through the process,” said Ms. Christine Harris, the network’s director of college counseling.
 
The excitement is contagious, said Mr. Nic Frank, LAHS’s school director.
 
“This is the first time it really feels real for our seniors as they apply to college,” Mr. Frank said. “And it’s the first step in their process of applying and being accepted to college.”
 
Every senior class in LEAD Academy’s history has earned 100 percent acceptance to college for each of the last four years. That’s the end goal for an event like this afternoon’s both Frank and Harris said.
 
On hand this afternoon were representatives from Austin Peay State University, Tennessee State University, the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and Middle Tennessee State University.
 
Stay tuned for additional stories throughout the year as we highlight the college acceptance journey for the members of the Class of 2018. LEAD’s annual Senior Signing Day is scheduled for Wednesday, May 9, 2018 at the Curb Event Center at Belmont University. For additional coverage of today's event, check out our Facebook page here