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Photo by NYC Outward Bound Schools.
Photo by NYC Outward Bound Schools.
State Senator Joseph P Addabbo, Jr. marches with high school seniors from Metropolitan Expeditionary Learning Center to a postal truck to mail college applications.

A group of high school seniors in Forest Hills took to the streets on Friday to show their neighbors that they are heading to college.

At the seventh annual College March hosted by NYC Outward Bound, more than 100 soon-to-be graduates from Metropolitan Expeditionary Learning School (MELS) in Forest Hills marched from the school to a postal truck to send their college applications. The students were cheered on by family members, school faculty and the junior class, who will participate in the march next year.

NYC Outward Bound is a nonprofit that has a partnership with the Department of Education to help support public schools and promote high-quality teaching and high levels of student achievement.

The students were also joined by state Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, who was a guest speaker at the event and marched alongside them. Addabbo acknowledged that college is not for everyone, but for those that do make the decision to continue their education, it is his obligation to support them.

The seniors are our future, and if they’re taking that path of going to college and contributing, I appreciate that,” Addabbo said.

Addabbo also added that he visited MELS earlier in the week and had some encouraging conversations with students who voiced their concerns about the environment and immigration. In talking with seniors during the march, the senator said that many of them remembered attending the event as juniors the year before.

With the current junior class also coming to show their support this year, Addabbo believes the march is serving as motivation for the students.

The College March has expanded across the nation, with 11 cities and more than 2,300 students participating this year, according to a press release from NYC Outward Bound. In New York, eight schools throughout the boroughs held similar marches. Since most of the seniors are filing their college applications online now, some of those who participated sent letters of appreciation to those that helped them throughout high school instead.

“As you begin this next journey in your life, do not forget all the people who helped you get to where you are today,” Addabbo said. “Congratulations to you all and best of luck to you in the future.”

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