Founded in 1998 by Kevin Teasley, GEO (Greater Education Opportunities) Foundation has radically altered the trajectory of impoverished students to succeed in college and career while still in high school through its innovative College Immersion Program.
Little more than 10% of the students that GEO serves in Gary through its flagship school 21st Century Charter School come from homes with any college experience. By contrast, 21C graduates earn an average of 19 college credits each, putting them in the top 5% of Indiana for college readiness. More than 50% of 21C 2022 graduates earned either a full associate degree or certification in high school.
In 2014, GEO’s success in Gary caught the attention of former Louisiana Superintendent of Education John White and an invitation by the Louisiana Department of Education to bring GEO’s college immersion model to Louisiana. Eight years, five campuses, and 1,800 students later, GEO has earned the support of New Schools Baton Rouge and consistent “top gains” by the Louisiana Department of Education.
GEO Foundation supports a network of eight GEO Academies in Gary and Indianapolis, Indiana and Baton Rouge, Louisiana that serve 3,800 predominantly African-American and low-income students.
Where It Begins
Each GEO Academy starts by invitation of local community leaders. GEO Academies works with the founding board of directors to develop the charter application, then provides guidance and support in hiring and training the school leader and staff. GEO also assists in finding a facility, funding furniture and supplies, marketing, technology and providing the professional development to staff to ensure a successful school opening. After opening, GEO provides back office support—accounting, human resources, academic oversight—to assist the school in achieving economies of scale, keep administration costs down, and to get as many education dollars in the classroom as possible.
- 21st Century Charter School at Gary (K-12): Authorized by Ball State University (started in 2005)
- Gary Middle College-East (9-12): Authorized by Ball State University (started in 2012)
- Gary Middle College-West (9-12): Authorized by Ball State University (started in 2018)
- GEO Prep Academy of Greater Baton Rouge (K-8): Authorized by the Louisiana State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (started in 2015)
- GEO Prep Mid-City of Greater Baton Rouge (K-8)
- GEO Next Generation High School (9th & 10th Grades)
- GEO Next Generation High School Indianapolis (9th – 11th Grades)