*Blair Underwood salutes the academic achievements of Los Angeles area high school graduates Sunday as host of the Rites of Academic Passage Ceremony, to take place at 11 a.m. at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

Through a program of poetry and song, thirty-seven high school seniors demonstrate their academic mastery and emotional maturity. Upon completion, the students ask their parents and community elders if they have proven their readiness to proceed to college.

“This ceremony is a formal event celebrating each student’s graduation from College Bound and high school,” says College Bound founder Johnnie Savoy. “It’s the result of a commitment to education by both students and parents. These students have demonstrated the ability to set and reach goals, a skill that will serve them throughout their lives.”

Once the class has received permission to move forward, representatives from colleges and universities from across the country present academic scholarships.

“This part of the program is simply electric. Imagine the student who learns he has received a full ride to a four-year college. That happens here,” says Savoy.

Proceeds from the Rites of Academic Passage Ceremony, College Bound’s signature fundraiser, will be used to support the College Bound Scholarship Fund and operational expenses. For more information and tickets, please call College Bound at (562) 860-2127 or visit www.CollegeBoundCA.org.  

View highlights from the 2009 Rites of Academic Passage Ceremony below.