Junior colleges throughout the U.S. saw a 23% decline in Black male enrollment between 2019 and 2021. St. Petersburg College’s (FL) Florida African American Male Experience (FAAME) program is working to reverse that trend, just graduating its first class of nearly two dozen scholars who took classes, learned leadership skills and gained new opportunities. Many are planning to continue their studies at a four-year university.

“I feel great,” graduate and FAAME scholar Jo’el Hicks told Bay News 9. “This is just a sign of what’s to come. It’s a sign that I’ve held up my word, and that all I needed was an opportunity.”

Read more about the program here.