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Oakwood University and Drake State team up to do big things for the community

These two places of higher education are actively working to make the community a better place, not only when it comes to education but meeting basic human needs.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Drake State has signed a partnership with the Alabama School of Cyber Technology and Engineering.

This partnership will help provide even more educational opportunities and resources for students at ASCTE.

The magnet high school is currently housing and teaching students on the Oakwood University campus until their permanent campus is complete in Research Park.

It is the only high school in the United States that focuses on topics like cyber technology and engineering in every class.

"The meaning behind the partnership is the fact that we'll be able to provide for students here additional experiences to enhance the great educational experience they are already receiving and this will provide them with opportunities to deeper explore a career in technical education and other career pathways," said Dr. Patricia Sims, president at J.F. Drake State Community and Technical College.

This partnership will also allow an opportunity for students to enroll at Drake State as non-degree seeking students as early as their Sophomore year, gaining college-level instruction and experience while attending high school.

RELATED: Girls get hands on STEM experience, compete in Raytheon cyber challenge

Drake state is also partnering up with Oakwood University to help the community.

How?

By offering fresh produce at affordable prices through Oakwood's Mobile Market.

Oakwood's Mobile Market recently launched at the beginning of this year and set out to serve six different neighborhoods. Now that the partnership between Drake State has been signed, the market can now serve from the community college.

"This is just another partnership between Oakwood University and Drake State Community College as two HBCU's come together to help our communities that we interact with on a daily basis and not only that but specifically our students," said Lisa Dalrymple, director of the Healthy Campus 2020 Initiative, Oakwood University.

Food insecurity impacts one in five residents in our area.
Even college students.

"Traditionally we associate it with communities, homeless people, with the elderly who are away from communities but 40%, some of the recent studies show, 40% of university campuses, the students report food insecurity," said Dr. Leslie Pollard, president, Oakwood University

These initiatives focus not only on college students but the community as a whole.

RELATED: Oakwood University launches Mobile Market to address food desert in community


"Huntsville is very fortunate to be home to three HBCU's and so, it is important for us to collaborate and work together as we seek to solve the community's problems," said Sims.

"We are attempting actually to have a transforming impact, not through just the delivery of education but also through the address of speaking to human needs and one of those needs of course is adequate nutrition," said Pollard.

One student who has been apart of the mobile market from the start says these efforts make a difference.

"She was praying for somebody to just come to her and able to just get the resources that she needs without having to go super far. This initiative was not only like, her answered prayer but that way she was able to get on the bus - she was able to leave with several bags of groceries that was going to last her until the next time we came on the bus," said Josalynn Clarke, student health ambassador, Oakwood University. 

RELATED: Oakwood University to serve community with mobile market

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