‘It’s funny how time flies’: Don’t forget about 21st Century Scholars program

Every once in a while, it’s worth sitting back and taking a look at what’s going on around you. Seems like some times we move so fast that we lose track of the progress we are making and we don’t consider the immenseness (is that a word?) of what we are doing.
I got into this battle to help low-income families access quality schools. That was the big goal. But there are lots of other incremental goals that take place along the way to achieving the big goal. One of those goals is having a building to do your work.
So, it is with that in mind, that I present to you the pictures below and above. The picture above is the new home of GEO Foundation on Meridian Street in Indianapolis. We moved in right before the pandemic started last year, then all of us went home. :) Even still, this is quite a long way from my living room where GEO began in 1998.
Below are pictures of the schools we’ve started in Gary, Indianapolis, and Baton Rouge. We now have 10 campuses altogether. Five in Gary, one in Indianapolis, and four in Baton Rouge. Kind of hard to believe, really.
But, when you serve 3,600 students in these cities, you have to have a place for them to learn. And we are not done, yet. We’ve been invited to start more schools in Baton Rouge. And Texas continues to beckon us.
While I appreciate the invitations, the goal remains the same–to provide high quality education to underserved families. The goal is NOT to have a bunch of mediocre schools. Nope! So, we don’t start new schools until our current ones are standing on their own feet and producing great results.
I can tell you that our current schools are doing just that, too. From “Top Gains” schools in Baton Rouge, to our top graduation rates and college and career readiness ratings in Indiana, our schools are kicking it. That’s why more invitations are coming in. Pretty exciting.
For now, I’ll leave it there. Enjoy these pictures. Yes, they are just buildings. But they are more than that in the communities we serve. They are places where hope begins and goals are realized. Not just a proposed PDF plan, but real evidence of great work being done.
Thanks for being our friend throughout all these years. Thanks for believing in us. Let’s keep changing the world together!
Kevin Teasley
Founder & President
GEO Foundation

Parents of a freshman in high school might feel like they’re getting ahead of the curve by starting to think about college.  In some respects, they’re probably right. But they also could be wrong in one major way.  Students from low-income families can qualify for up to four years of paid tuition at in-state public colleges and universities — and a comparable amount for private schools — from the state’s 21st Century Scholars program.  Students have to sign up by the summer of their eighth grade year, though.

“It’s funny how time flies,” said Esther Woodson, manager of student progress at Indy Achieves, which helps get students signed up for the program. As of May 19, Indy Achieves has helped 636 students apply for the 21st Century Scholars program, Woodson said. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization is still helping students apply digitally.  The deadline to apply is June 30.

“That’s a huge opportunity for students to go and get a postsecondary degree or credential and do it with a huge chunk of their overall cost covered,” said Matt Impink, executive director of Indy Achieves.  Impink noted that less than half of Marion County students are enrolled by the end of their eighth grade year.  Up north in Lake County, where only about 30% of eligible students from the 2020 graduating class are enrolled, Khadijah Brooks is celebrating the end of her high school career at 21st Century Charter School at Gary before going to college with the scholarship in hand.

Brooks finished second in her class and will go to IUPUI as an academic junior because of all of the dual-credit courses she took in high school.  “My parents motivated me a lot to be the best I could,” she said. “I know I want to be successful. I know I want to go to college to get my degree. Why not get a head start?”  Brooks, who will study nursing, said having the 21st Century Scholars help took some pressure off of her to find every available scholarship out there, even though she did keep applying for scholarships to help with books and other expenses.

Aarynn Bernard, who taught Brooks in kindergarten and then helped tutor and mentor her in high school, said Brooks has always been mature for her age, helping other students in class and setting high expectations for herself.  “She’s always very professional, straight to the point,” Bernard said. “She was about basically achieving her success.”  21st Century Charter School at Gary is part of GEO Academies, which is based in Indianapolis.  GEO Academies will open GEO Next Generation High School, a ninth through 12th grade charter school, in the fall of 2020.

Aplica Ahora (2021-2022)

Grade Level

GEO Next Generation High School utilizará el sistema en línea EnrollBR para el proceso de inscripción 2021-2022. EnrollBR es un proceso de solicitud común que brinda ayuda a las familias con la correcta elección de la escuela que satisfará las necesidades que sus hijos tengan. Los padres deben seguir las instrucciones a continuación para registrarse para el año escolar 2021-2022.

  1. Haga clic aquí para ir directamente a EnrollBR y comenzar su aplicación.
  2. Necesitará una dirección de correo electrónico. Si no tiene uno, aquí le brendaremos instrucciones para ayudarlo a configurar una cuenta de gmail de Google. Haga clic aquí
  3. Para obtener instrucciones sobre cómo completar la solicitud de inscripción ante de, Haga clic aquí

Para el año escolar 2021-2022, GEO Next Generation High School inscribirá los grados 9-10. La escuela está ubicada en 2355 N. Sherwood Forest Dr., Baton Rouge, LA 70815. Para obtener información sobre cómo inscribirse en el actual año escolar, comuníquese con la escuela al numero telefónico (225) 314-2044.

Apply Now (2021-2022)

Grade Level

GEO Next Generation High School will be utilizing the EnrollBR online system for the 2021-2022 enrollment process. EnrollBR is a common application process that assists families with school choice to meet the needs of their child(ren). Parents should follow the below directions to register for the 2021-2022 school year.

  1. Click Here to go directly to EnrollBR and begin your application.
  2. You will need an email address. If you do not have one, there are instructions to help you set up a Google Gmail Account. Click here
  3. For instructions on completing the enrollment application beforehand, Click Here

For the 2021-2022 school year, GEO Next Generation High School will be enrolling grades 9-10. The school is located at 2355 N. Sherwood Forest Dr., Baton Rouge, LA 70815. For information on enrolling this current school year, please contact the school at (225) 314-2044.