As I shared in June, Indiana Black Expo, one of Indiana’s most important organizations supporting programs and creating opportunities for social and economic advancement for African Americans, chose to honor GEO Academies this year during their annual corporate lunch. The lunch took place last Friday and it was electric!
More than 1700 community, corporate and philanthropic leaders attended the lunch and it was a great opportunity to share the many great stories of triumph by our students.
Mike Woodson, head basketball coach for Indiana University, was so thrilled by the achievements of 13-year-old Khaya Njumba that he jumped up out of his chair to come on stage to take a picture (see pic below) with Khaya and our leadership. Khaya should be in 7th grade but he just completed his associate degree at Ivy Tech and has been accepted to attend Indiana University this year. He will be our next bachelor-degreed high school graduate in 2024. We will have two students achieve this high bar in 2024.
While sharing our student stories with the audience, it occured to me our secret sauce is our approach and that our approach is very much like that of a basketball coach or any other coach for that matter. Coaches spend hours and hours teaching athletes the game, drawing up plays, and running drills. But at some point, they have to give the players the ball. That’s what we do. We practice, prepare and demonstrate our students can do college-level work, and then we give them the ball. In our case, the ball is our enrolling them in college and/or a career program. And then, like a coach, we support them all along their journey.
In any case, it was an electric lunch, one I’ll never forget. It was GEO’s golden buzzer moment (for those of you who watch America’s Got Talent, you know what I’m talking about).
At the lunch, Black Expo surprised us with this 3-minute video and shared it with the audience, too. It is an excellent video. Please take a minute to watch it….and share it with others.
We can do more and we are planning to do more. To learn more about GEO Academies, our student success outcomes or how you can join our efforts, visit https://geoacademies.org/.