CAMDEN, NJ (CBS) — A group of high schools from a Camden Charter School are embarking on a life changing trip Tuesday, and it’s designed to open doors to both the future and the past.
Bags packed, hugs given, and passports ready.
“It represents what the world really offer,” said 15-year-old Terrance Cosby.
A group of six rising sophomores from Mastery High School of Camden are getting a chance to explore their African roots.
Cosby has never left the United States or even been on a flight.
“I’m nervous about the plane and the take off,” he said. “but when we land I’m just going to look around and take pictures.”
After today he would have done both, and when he gets back it’s unlikely he’ll be the same.
“I don’t even think they know what it means to them yet,” said Principal William Hayes.
Hayes and African studies teacher Ojala Mwalimu organized the 10 day trip, and the kids each raised $3,000 to pay their travel to Morocco and the Ghanaian Coast to see the castles where the slave trade began.
“You just sit in the room and you be quiet and things just come to you,” said Mwalimu.
He studied in Ghana while in college, and the Camden native says it changed him.
Mwalimu says he has since adopted West African culture, and has returned three times taking students and others.
“It completely I had to reinvent the way I thought about humanity, about Blackness,” he said.
Nardo Santiago, Cosby’s mother said, “I’m hoping he can experience it.”
She says seeing her son travel is changing her to see his horizons broaden.
“Anything is possible just because you are from Camden doesn’t mean you have to settle for what they have to offer,” she said.