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Following a viral article that generated thousands of donations, 90 students from Arkansas went on a college trip



North Little Rock, Arkansas – Inflation is a problem for many Arkansas families, but thanks to a widely shared Facebook post, area high school kids can now attend college for free.

Drevian Dodson, a junior at North Little Rock High School, considers basketball her life. After visiting Grambling State University for a “high school day,” he claims that his desire of playing at a university feels like it might be feasible.

“It motivates me every day because I still want to play basketball for a college one day and Grambling is one of the places I would be grateful and blessed to get an offer from,” Dodson said.

Dodson is just one of 90 students from Arkansas who were able to attend the one-day event as a result of Dustin Barnes, a member of the Central Arkansas Grambling University National Alumni Association, who posted about the significance of the event and requested donations so that students could attend for free.

“We know that a high school diploma is not it anymore, you have to do more,” Barnes said.

According to Barnes, support from the local and out-of-state communities poured in quickly in the form of donations, which made it possible for students from across Arkansas to attend.

“We were able to raise a little over $8400 in a matter of 4 to 5 days,” Barnes stated. “We know inflation is hurting everybody. I know that this was a blessing for so many of our families in Central Arkansas.”

According to Dodson, going on the trip was a big moment in his life.

“That was my first time ever being on a college campus. They did a lot of things that were cultural, and it definitely felt like home,” Dodson said.

Dodson said he was appreciative of the free trip and that it provided him with insight into his future that he might not have had at this point.

“You know usually you might have to pay but I didn’t have to pay and that felt pretty good that people want to see me succeed in life,” Dodson said.

Evin Lawson, a sophomore at NLRHS, says she was able to consider her options for both college and a profession.

“It’s shown me all the opportunities I have if I keep my grades up and if I just keep being the person that I am now ,” Lawson said.

Dodson claims that the journey would always have a special place in his life.

“It’s a day that I’m going to remember for the rest of my life,” Dodson admitted.

According to Barnes, they hope to do the trip the following year so that more Arkansan students can begin planning for the future without concern for money.

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