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Fan-tastic: Younger students cheer the seniors on.
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Leading the way: The Expeditionary students proudly march by their friends.
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Going postal: Eddie Luca gets ready to hand off his applications.

These are the first steps of the rest of their lives.

Seniors at Bensonhurst’s Expeditionary Learning School for Community Leaders strode from their school steps to a postal truck parked on the street in a ceremonial march to send off their college applications — while dozens of the school’s younger students cheered them on.

It was the school’s second annual College March, which all 75 Expeditionary 12th graders participate in, since the school has a 100 percent college application rate and — for its two graduating classes so far — a 100 percent acceptance rate.

School authorities called the mini-parade a way of acknowledging the difficulties and frustrations of applying to college

“It’s an opportunity to recognize our students for the hard work they do,” said Principal David O’Hara. “The college application process is so grueling.”

O’Hara added that the event also lets students in the lower grades show support for their friends, and get inspired about their own impending applications.

“It’s an opportunity for our 10th graders our 11th graders to see them apply to college and remind them that college is for everyone,” O’Hara said.

Expeditionary is part of the Outward Bound network of schools, which stresses contact with nature. Students this year have already been accepted at schools like Skidmore College, Bard College, Wheaton College, American University, and the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at wbredderman@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4507. Follow him attwitter.com/WillBredderman.
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