Youth of the Year Gives Virtual Glimpse of College to Schoolmates

Alameda freshman shows the way via cell phone tour

In October, Alameda Boys & Girls Club Youth of the Year, Ja’Nylah Johnson, who now attends Bennett College in Greensboro, N.C. with a full scholarship, took some time to give her former schoolmates at Alameda’s Nea Community Learning Center a virtual tour of her campus and dormitory. Using her cell phone, Johnson showed the Nea seniors around and answered questions about her experiences at Bennett College in North Carolina.

The Alameda students were very enthusiastic about learning of Johnson’s experiences through the virtual tour. “It means a lot seeing someone who looks like us and talks like us, there at college,” said A.J. Leiva. “It makes us feel like we can do it, too. It’s inspiring.”

Johnson’s former classmates are, themselves, all college-bound, with hopes of attending various schools around California and across the country. Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, Cal State East Bay in Hayward, the University of Southern California and University of Texas, Austin are among the list of intended colleges. 

Their planned careers include electrical engineering, social work and psychology. Leiva has already received early acceptance to the University of Arizona, in Tucson, and plans on becoming a counselor.