The excitement of 1,400 Boston public school students was palpable inside Cabot Center on Friday, as Northeastern hosted its annual Boston Public Schools Day.
Students from 10 different Boston area schools sat in rapture as Northeastern student-athletes encouraged them to foster a strong work ethic and continue their education. The annual event is organized by the university’s Office of City and Community Affairs.
Athletes including women’s basketball captain Francesca Sally, E’17; and track and field athletes Leeyann Redwood, Brandon Moorer, and Naukym Morton, all ’21, addressed the students Friday. University vice president of city and community affairs, John Tobin; athletic director Peter Roby; and women’s basketball head coach Kelly Cole also rallied the students to picture themselves as future Huskies, calling on them to keep working until they achieved their goals.
“This is one of my favorite days of the year,” Tobin said, “because we get to spend it with you.”
Roby said, “One of the things that’s most important about today is that we want you to see yourselves in this environment when you graduate from high school. The best thing we can do is to continue to work on learning, and getting an education, and making ourselves better.
“That’s what all these young men and women are doing,” Roby added, referencing the student-athletes in attendance, “and we want you to see yourselves in their faces.”
Colleen Cummings, a fifth-grade teacher at Joyce Kilmer School, said the event has served to do just that for her classes in the past.
“This day is always inspirational for our students,” she said. “More than anything, it brings home the fact that Northeastern is accessible to them. It opens up a conversation.”
Track and field student-athlete Leeyann Redwood, ’21, championed the talents of the young students gathered Friday and challenged them to persevere with their education in order to best develop those talents.
“In this building we have a bunch of beautiful, intelligent, talented kids, but the only thing that will set you apart from each other is your education,” she said. “You have amazing gifts inside of you, and the better educated you are, the more access you’ll have to those gifts and the better gifts you’ll give to the world.”
The students later packed the bleachers at Solomon Court to cheer on the women’s basketball team as it faced Saint Mary’s. And even a loss by the home team could not dampen the spirits of the young students or the message they received.
Our photographers were there to catch these scenes from the memorable day.