Honor roll students from Muskegon Heights and Orchard View left for a trip to West Africa Thursday.

The six students were invited to make the trip, in part, for making the honor roll and for demonstrating leadership in their schools.

Five of the students have never been on a plane, much less out of the country. In Ghana, they'll visit a university, the U.S. Embassy and historical sites related to the slave trade.

"I am open minded so I want to soak it all in observe a lot of stuff that is over there, " said Ka' Whyii Morris of Muskegon Heights.

Organizers say they've prepared the students to expect an Africa that's different from the one portrayed on television and in movies. With community support, it may become an annual event organized by 103.7 The Beat.

Sponsors of the trip believe the students will return from Africa with ideas to create positive changes in their communities.

"It was made possible because we feel our kids need to know more about where we come from, who we are, and connect with their roots, " said Paull Billings of 103.7 The Beat.

They return at the end of next week.

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