There is no subway system where these kids are going. And it'll be white: Snowstorm white. Dairy farm white. White white.
But Kenneth Jackson, a new high school graduate from the Washington area, isn't too worried about trading in his urban life for a dorm at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in a few short weeks. He knows he can handle it. After all, his posse is coming along.
"These people," he nods his head toward a group of students lounging in a downtown D.C. office building on giant pillows around a tray of red velvet cupcakes, "you can be open with them."
That camaraderie, suggests a growing body of research, may make all the difference.
"We're still stuck in some of these more old-fashioned ways of thinking about how to really build a diverse campus." — Debbie Bial, founder and president, Posse Foundation
For years, there have been attempts to fortify disadvantaged kids — frequently low-income students of color who are the first in their families to go to college — with enough academic know-how to succeed in rigorous college courses.
But again and again, they drop out. Some of the reasons have to do with money. Some don't.
Kenneth Jackson speaks to his fellow Posse members as Laura Miller looks on during one of the group's final training sessions in D.C. before they head to college in late August. He's looking forward to the experience, but has concerns about being so far from home.