May 1st marks Decision Day for high school seniors all across the nation. The point of this momentous occasion is to allow students to show off the college they have chosen to attend to their peers, educators, and families. This year, Prince George’s County Public Schools hosted their first College and Career Decision Day at Baysox Stadium to celebrate over 3,000 seniors from 20 different high schools across the county as they prepare to take the next step in their lives following graduation.
The energy in Baysox stadium that day was electric. Colleges, Technical schools, branches of the Military, community partners, and vendors were all in attendance with booths full of information available for interested students. Even news teams from both ABC 7 and WTOP were present to cover the event. Also in attendance was our organization, PeerForward. We set up our table near one of the 360 photo booths where we gave students PeerForward branded “I’m going to” signs. Over the next few hours, we had Peer Leaders and other seniors alike excitedly flock to our booth, hoping to get their hands on their own sign. Students filled in the college they will be attending and happily posed for pictures. Their excitement about their futures could been seen in their smiles and felt in the cheers from their peers as they queued up to have their pictures taken. Just two hours following our arrival at the event, we had already given out every sign! Despite giving out all the swag we had to offer, the PeerForward booth was still popular as passionate Peer Leaders dropped by to tell us they were involved in the program and to have a chance to say hello and show off their college decision to their beloved PeerForward Coach, Aunie. The love they have for their coach, and their willingness to approach our booth, truly is a testament to the impact PeerForward has on the lives of these students.
After giving the seniors time to explore the event, they gathered in the stadium seating to listen to guest speakers who came out to celebrate them. Among the speakers were Chey Parker, the host of Radio One who acted as the hype woman for the event, and the beloved Dr. Monica Goldson, Chief Executive Officer for Prince George’s County Public Schools. After listening to an inspiring speech from Dr. Goldson, the students were turned loose for the remainder of the event to continue exploring booths and to get lunch.
As the event was coming to an end, the DJ played music and students from different schools came together to dance and celebrate. Students could be seen approaching one another who repped merch for the same schools and striking up conversations with their future classmates. The entire stadium was buzzing with excitement until the very last school boarded their bus. This event won’t soon be forgotten by anyone who was lucky enough to attend!