Have you ever left home for a while and returned to notice perhaps a plant has a new bloom or a tree got bigger? Well, with Covid, it has been hard to get to all GEO schools over the past year but this past month, I was able to visit all of our schools. And my, how things have bloomed.
It seems like only yesterday when Raven Osborne (upper left) earned a full bachelor’s degree from Purdue prior to graduating from our Gary high school. That was such big news in 2017 that CBS Evening News travelled to do a story on her. She started a trend, too.
Five students (featured in the Chicago Post Tribune in 2018 upper right photo) were so excited by Raven’s achievement that they set out to follow in her footsteps. Today, four have earned a full associate degree, one earned 112 college credits (just 8 shy of a full bachelor’s) and Abram (far right) is on track to earn his associate by the end of his sophomore year of high school and earn a full bachelor’s prior to graduation from our high school.
Pictured in the middle/top row is Khaya. Khaya is 12. He’s super bright and his parents needed more than a traditional school for him. They chose our Gary school over many other private and public choices precisely because we allow and support our students to take college level classes. He will have his associate degree by the time he turns 13. Yes, he will earn a full bachelor’s by 15. He wants to be a doctor. The Chicago Tribune featured Khaya in this article just last week.
In Indy, we have doubled our enrollment and doubled the number of students taking college courses. We are only in our second year! We did a survey of our parents and they reported choosing our school precisely because of the real college opportunities we provide. Azza (bottom row left) is a freshman. She is currently earning seven credits. She wants to be a nurse. She is well on her way.
In Baton Rouge, we witness more of the same promising developments. The four students pictured in the bottom center photo are all on track to earn full associate degrees and will be among the first high school students in all of Baton Rouge to do so. They are all juniors in our high school.
Perhaps one of the most exciting pictures is the one on the bottom right. We had a chance to bring our Gary and Indy high school/college students together in early September. We almost filled the bleachers. We will do that real soon!
So, we are witnessing a sea change in communities traditionally known for the number of dropouts produced. Today, families in these communities are choosing GEO schools. Why? Because of our college and career programs and our belief in our students.
GEO is proving that we can replicate this success, too. We are in three cities and two states serving a record number of students today–3500. We didn’t lose students during the pandemic, we gained students. I’ve never been one to push for replication and have more schools. I’ve always been more concerned about quality. Most of our students have been robbed of a good education prior to coming to our schools. It’s important that we serve with quality.
That said, I think the results shared in this email prove GEO quality is worthy of support and replication. Indeed, we’ve gained important support from New Schools for Baton Rouge to replicate in nearby Baker, Louisiana.
Founder & President