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NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – The Honore Center for Student Achievement is housed over on SUNO‘s campus and director Warren Bell stopped by News With a Twist to talk about their open house.

The Honore Center was created 3 and a half years ago. The idea was funded initially through a state grant, with the plan to tackle a really serious challenge: get more young men of color to complete college and back in our nation’s classrooms, here in New Orleans.

“So for the last three years we’ve been recruiting a group of young men every year whose SAT scores were not quite where the state says they have to be to be eligible for a four year institution. But, however, we feel that their scores are close enough that with some structure and some guidance the innate leadership qualities and character of these young men will be brought to the surface,” said Bell.

“We intend to prove ‘yes’ you can lead them to successful completion of their bachelor’s degree but more importantly, each one of these young men receives a substantial amount of support from us because when they graduate, they are expected to return to their communities and spend at least two years as a classroom teacher with all the training that proceeds that so that it’s not just a fly by night scenario. They will be there fully empowered with the kinds of pedagogy skills they need to really do a job and set an example for the young men and women in those same classrooms they came from a few years earlier.”

Mr. Louis Blackmon is on of the center’s original students, and  he stated, “The Honore’ Center has enhanced my academic and personal success and it has also given me a stage to allow other young men from my community to see me and let them know that it is possible for them to have a college degree also.”

The Honore’ Center’s Open House is Thursday at 6 p.m. at the main conference room at SUNO.