Take a look at the colleges of your senior classes

High school students inspire teenagers to college with “Senior Walk”

With more than 50 percent of the students in Texas Van Independent School District coming from disadvantaged families, college isn't always on the cards.

That made the “Senior Walk” on May 3rd even more special. After Van High School leavers took pictures in their hats and dresses on the soccer field, they were loaded onto a bus and taken to the J. E. Rhodes Elementary and Van Middle School, where students stood in line and waited for them.

When the seniors entered the halls, the very excited younger students couldn't wait to give each of them a high five.

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"The seniors felt like rock stars," Superintendent Don Dunn told TODAY. "And you could see how much the elementary and middle school students were enjoying themselves just by looking at their faces."

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"The seniors didn't really know what to expect, but it got to be a big deal for us after we saw how crazy the kids are," said Senior Christina Bowman, who will be attending the University of Texas this fall, told TODAY. "Seeing us in our hats and robes really gave them something to strive for."

In an effort to change the stigma students feel about college, the district launched the After High School Comes College initiative a few years ago.

In addition to the administration constantly preaching these words to their students, Wednesday is college day and everyone is encouraged to wear college attire. Each teacher has also adopted a college and decorated their room with the colors of that school.

"We are a community with many students living in poverty and we hope that through this whole process we can break the cycle," said Dunn.

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While the majority of the senior class are committed to advancing their education, the district's goal is to get 100 percent of them studying in college.

"We're trying to make these kids understand that they can go to college," said Jeff Hutchins, director of Van High School, TODAY. "Watching the face of her dreams go by was incredibly touching and inspired her to dream big."

The 86-year-old is finally finishing his studies - after 50 years!

May12.201601: 26