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CBHS Seniors to March to Drum of College Aspirations Dec. 18

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CBHS Seniors to March to Drum of College Aspirations Dec. 18
Posted on 12/15/2015
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About 90 seniors from Casco Bay High School (CBHS) will march down Congress Street from the Portland Museum of Art to the downtown post office on Friday, Dec. 18, to mail their college applications.

The event, which starts at the museum at 1:30 p.m., will mark the school’s third annual "March to the Post Office" to celebrate every senior completing at least one college application – and to promote the Portland Public Schools’ goal to graduate every student college ready.

“The March to the Post Office is a great opportunity to congratulate seniors on achieving the significant milestone of completing a college application,” said CBHS Principal Derek Pierce. “In addition, it provides an opportunity to give thanks to all of those who have supported them in getting to this point. It also sends a clear message to our (wildly cheering) underclassmen that they too are college material and with hard work and grit, they too, eventually, can become college ready.”

Joining the CBHS students will be students from Reiche Community School. The annual ritual sends a message to younger students that they too can aspire to college.

The march down Congress Street will culminate at City Hall with speeches by Portland Mayor Ethan Strimling or Michael Dixon, executive director of Portland ConnectEd; Portland Public Schools Interim Superintendent Jeanne Crocker; and CBHS senior, Declan Attaway Murphy.

The CBHS seniors will be among more than 1,600 students from 22 schools in 11 cities nationwide participating in the National College March this month. The National College March, recognized by President Barack Obama in his 2014 State of the Union address, was begun in 2011 at a school in the NYC Outward Bound Schools network, with support from Capital One Bank. It has spread to include EL Education (formerly Expeditionary Learning) schools, including CBHS.

CBHS encourages all of its students to apply to college and has a 98 percent acceptance rate for its graduates. Many of the students participating in the march locally and nationwide are the first in their families to apply to college, and for some, English is not their native language. The College March is a powerful symbol of the idea that every student, regardless of background or circumstance, has the potential to thrive at a high-quality institution of higher learning.

PHOTO: Casco Bay High School seniors march down Congress Street in December 2014 to mail their college applications.