About 20 members of the Rotary Club of Nashville discussed the importance of a college-ready path with members of the LEAD Academy Class of 2017 today as part of the group's annual mentoring luncheon. 

"I think that today makes the idea of college seem more real," said Nic Frank, the LEAD Academy school director. "We sit down and our students talk to someone about where they are in the process and what college means to them. And they get to hear from folks in the community who have been through this before -- and what college has meant to them. It's another step in making it seem more real to the individual student. They are about to leave this place and start the rest of their lives."

The 45 seniors met in groups of three or four with Rotarian representatives for about an hour. Each Fall, seniors participate in the luncheon. Each Spring, the juniors meet and begin discussing their college plans.   

"Rotatarians teaming up with LEAD Academy seniors and juniors is nothing but a win-win situation for the students, our Rotarians and Nashville as a whole," said Pam Koban, one of the event's organizers. "It's one more person patting these kids on the back and helping them realize college is a reality. Every conversation the students have that tells them that  college is where you need to go is one more advantage for them. And it's multiple advantages down the line for our community and for our country."

All LEAD Academy seniors recently applied to their first-round of colleges and attended the school's annual FAFSA Night this week. Today's luncheon was another step in the college push for LEAD seniors -- one that culminates in the network's annual LEAD Senior Signing Day, scheduled for May 17, 2017 inside Belmont University's Curb Event Center. 

Three straight LEAD Academy senior classes have earned 100 percent acceptance to college. For more pictures from the event, check out (and like!) our Facebook page