Last week, the Mass­a­chu­setts Board of Ele­men­tary and Sec­ondary Edu­ca­tion voted to take over the “chron­i­cally under­per­forming” Lawrence public school system.

On Tuesday, about 100 Lawrence High School stu­dents who vis­ited North­eastern Uni­ver­sity were encour­aged to focus on their poten­tial rather than dwell on the latest news.

That’s a problem for the adults and the tax­payers,” said Richard O’Bryant, the director of the John D. O’Bryant African-​​American Insti­tute at North­eastern, which hosted the pro­gram. “Regard­less of what’s going on in the system, you can still go to col­lege, you can still be a suc­cess and you can still get a great education.

Don’t focus on what you can’t con­trol,” he added. “Focus on what you can do and con­tinue to do good work and strive to be successful.”

O’Bryant’s father, for whom the African-​​American Insti­tute is named, served as a vice pres­i­dent of stu­dent affairs at North­eastern and advo­cated for edu­ca­tional excel­lence at the uni­ver­sity and throughout Greater Boston.

The goal of the campus visit was to teach stu­dents about the impor­tance of a col­lege edu­ca­tion and to answer ques­tions on topics ranging from dorm life and dining halls to the appli­ca­tion process and col­lege courses.

None of the high school stu­dents had ever vis­ited North­eastern and few had ever trav­eled into Boston, said North­eastern grad­uate Jordan Clark, who teaches spe­cial edu­ca­tion math and health at Lawrence High School through the Teach for America program.

The hope for this trip is for you to see what col­lege is really about,” said Clark, SSH’11. “If you don’t get an answer to one of your ques­tions, ask and we’ll do every­thing we can to figure it out.”

The day­long visit to North­eastern included campus tours led by some of Clark’s friends and former class­mates, a pizza lunch at the African-​​American Insti­tute and breakout ses­sions designed for stu­dents to ask ques­tions about col­lege life.

O’Bryant said the campus visit showed stu­dents that hard work and ded­i­ca­tion pay off. “This is all about you guys becoming the best people you can be,” he said. “We want you to be moti­vated and inspired so you can make the best pos­sible future for yourselves.”