This past weekend, 26 Gary, Indiana kids (pictured above) aged 13-18 were seen hanging out together in a crowd at the USSteelYard. What were they doing? They were collecting 32 college degrees and career certifications. They collected two maintenance and light repair certifications, one welding certification, one carpentry certification, 12 Indiana College Core completion certifications (one year of college), six associate degrees (two years of college), eight business administration certifications, and two criminal justice certifications.
We are grateful for our partnership with Ivy Tech Community College and the support they provide all our high school students. Our partnership with Ivy Tech allows us to encourage our students to think beyond high school. And they do!
Khaya and Abram (pictured below) are prime examples of what happens when students are fully empowered to learn at their level. Khaya is 13. He should be in 7th grade. He just completed his associate degree. Abram is 16. He earned his associate degree before finishing 10th grade. Both will continue on and complete a full bachelors degree while in our high school. Paid for by us, earned by them.
The efforts of these students and others are catching on, too. In Indianapolis, we have 14 seniors graduating (pictured below) after our school has been opened for only two years and they’ve earned an average of 10 college credits each. Several have received full scholarships to Indiana University, University of Indianapolis, and Indiana State University. A nice return on investment after only two years.
And in Baton Rouge, where we started our high school three years ago, we are expecting to graduate our first 75 students in 2023. We have several students expected to earn full associate degrees from Baton Rouge Community College BEFORE graduating from our high school. In 2024, and every year after that, we will graduate more than 100 students annually.
All this is doubly exciting because it is happening despite the pandemic, despite a teacher shortage, and despite all the economic and social challenges across the country and in the communities we serve.
Yes, there are a number of societal issues facing our country, but our students are bound and determined to beat the odds. And our students are not alone.
I believe there are students all over the country needing schools like ours. Indianapolis and Baton Rouge prove it. We opened, and students enrolled. Why? Because we offered a better alternative to what existed in their communities. Our schools are set up to help students beat the odds. Our unique partnerships with higher education institutions help us address specific student needs and teacher shortages. Our partnerships open the doors to the great big world waiting for our high school students. Our partnerships give our students the real college experience they need to compete at the next level. Our partnerships provide us the opportunity to get K-14 results with K-12 dollars. And yes, these partnerships help our budgets which is good for taxpayers, too. We can do more and we will do more. We have a lot of exciting developments coming soon. To learn more about GEO Academies, our student success outcomes or how you can join our efforts, visit https://geoacademies.org/ or give me a call at 317-694-9985.
Founder & President GEO Foundation