Great news! The state of Indiana shared data with me showing the number of GEO’s Gary students earning high quality career and/or college credentials while in high school is five times the state average. FIVE TIMES!
In Louisiana, the state board of education recently shot down a proposal to require students earn at least 12 credits prior to graduating from high school. The board said 12 was too high. Well, more than half of our GEO Next Gen Baton Rouge Class of 2023 has already earned 12 college credits with a third having earned 30 college credits each. Twelve college credits is not too much for our students.
But there is more good news. I travelled to Gary last week to introduce a reporter to two students (both juniors) who have already earned a full associate degree and have been accepted on “degree tracks” to Indiana University Northwest and Purdue University Northwest to earn full bachelor degrees while in our high school (at no cost to them). When I arrived, I was excited to find out that we have more than two students shooting for this goal. We now have a dozen students aiming to earn a full bachelor’s while in high school. What? High school students earning bachelor degrees?
Yes, you read that right. What started with Raven in 2017, Indiana’s first student (and still the only student) to earn a full bachelor’s while in high school, is now blooming to a dozen or more. The snowball is getting bigger.
In Indianapolis, our school board was treated to hearing from seniors about why they chose GEO Next Generation High School. Students were direct–they are saving $50,000 in college costs and two years of time, too. Another student said she and her twin sister considered other high schools that are much bigger than GEO but decided we offered more college opportunities and a more personal experience so they chose GEO. Both twins have been accepted to college of their choice and Ludjina (pictured above), was sworn into the Army Reserve last week, too. Nice!
The news continues to be great in all three cities–Baton Rouge, Gary and Indianapolis–at this time of year in other ways, too, as we are starting to see students receive their college acceptances and scholarship letters. Brianna Jackson (bottom left) of GEO Next Gen Baton Rouge has already received two college acceptance letters and Laila Sanders (bottom right) of 21st Century Charter has received seven so far. So much fun!
Yes, this is a lot of fun seeing our students smile and celebrate their accomplishments. But it is also extremely meaningful to society as a whole. A recent report in Forbes shows associate degree earners are more likely to be employed and earn considerably more than those with high school diplomas or less. Other reports show that those who earn two years of college are more likely to continue and earn a full four-year degree. Kind of common sense, but it’s worth reporting.
We want 100% of our students to earn full associate degrees prior to graduating from our high schools. That’s how we close the generational poverty divide.
If you like this vision, we need you to come along side us and support our efforts in some of the nation’s most challenging communities. Don’t live there, you say? Well, our work is impacting the national discussion and pushing states to rethink the high school to college relationship. So, yes, we are impacting your community, too.
Here is the fun part. Every dollar we raise goes directly to supporting a student of ours seeking to get into college, complete college and/or career coursework. If you are a corporation or foundation wanting to support scholarships for students in need and you want to make sure your scholarships help students actually succeed in college, then we are your best investment. We match your scholarship dollars with our daily staff support to help ALL our students succeed. If you truly want to help break generational poverty, we are your best bet. Please join us.
Founder & President