Update: Students' trip to Kenya in doubt

Update: Students' trip to Kenya in doubt
BRAIN program funded through one-time grant (Source: WOIO)
BRAIN program funded through one-time grant (Source: WOIO)

AKRON, OH (WOIO) - A trip that six Akron students are supposed to take to Kenya on Friday is now up in the air.

The BRAIN program in Akron exposes minority high school students to the worlds of science and medicine.

But as of Thursday afternoon, 19 Action News reporter Dan DeRoos has learned that no plane tickets have been purchased.

Lillian Prince is the biostatistician who is mentoring six students from Buchtel High School in the BRAIN program which is run through Akron Children's Hospital.

BRAIN gives the students access to doctors and experts in the field of eye care.

"I had this bright idea to send the students Kenya to work with ophthalmologists there," Lillian Prince explained on Wednesday.

The program was funded with a one-time $5,000 grant, Which was why DeRoos questioned funding for a trip to Kenya, as well as money to keep the program going next year.

"We do need donations to keep going for next year. We have a Kenya trip that just so happens to not be a part of my original proposal. But we're going to make that a part of a culminating experience so we need plenty of donations as far as monetary and also looking for medical supplies to take," Prince said.

For a couple of months, these young men were told they were headed to Kenya to volunteer in an eye clinic, leaving Friday.

Off camera, Prince told DeRoos, "We're actually going to check into our flights today (Wednesday)."

By phone, Lillian said the group is having some money issues trying to get everyone on the same flight.

Parents are upset after putting up around $1000 for passports and immunization shots.

Prince claims this trip will happen Friday.

Akron Children's Hospital is distancing themselves from the situation, saying Prince is a volunteer and the Kenya trip was not a part of the original plan.

At least one parent told DeRoos they are not sure they should send their kids to Africa with planning like this.

Check back for updates.

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