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Montgomery County private school breaks barriers through student diversity

Montgomery County private school breaks barriers through diverse student body
Montgomery County private school breaks barriers through diverse student body 01:55

COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. (CBS) - Leaders and students at the Valley Forge Baptist Academy in Montgomery County celebrated Black History Month Thursday and their passion for diversity. 

"I want to welcome everyone to our annual Black History Month chapel," said Choja Osokpo, the first Black student body president in the 32-year year history of the Valley Forge Baptist Academy.

He led a special Black History Month celebration Thursday for students and staff as he spoke from the heart.

"I'm glad that the people of this school chose me to be their president, that they trusted me with that office," Osokpo said.

Osokpo said his election proves the school - with a predominantly-White student body - values diversity and embraces change.

"I think that once we break the ice, the potential is endless," Osokpo said. "So I think that now that we've broken the ice, we can build on it and we can create something really special at this school."

The event was full of history lessons, which started with a film from Pastor Roger Sebrell from Virginia explaining the what led to Black History Month.

"Negro History Week," he said. "That was started, first organized, by a man by the name of Carter G. Woodson."

Valley Forge Baptist Church Senior Pastor Scott Wendal spoke to how the church works with the school to encourage diversity.

"We have a mentoring program. We have an internship," Wendal said. "And then financially, we have a scholarship to help get them through that step of college."

The keynote speaker, Mark Carter, fellowship leader of the basketball ministry at the church, gave a message speaking to the school's mission.

"This local assembly is a reflection of all of God's creation," he said. "And I want them to walk away with knowing that we need to stay connected to the creator and treat each other in love."

Carter said it is critical that this work for diversity continues long past Black History Month.

"Martin Luther King famously said, the most divided hour in the country is on Sunday morning, and my hope is that people see that that is changing," Carter said.

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