It is hard to believe that it has been almost 25 years since GEO was launched in my living room. No board. No staff. No money. Just a big idea to stop talking about school choice and to start serving and providing a better educational choice for low-income minority families.
We received a seed grant from what was the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership in 1998 and after a few years working with families and community leaders in Indiana, we started one of Indiana’s first charter schools with 150 students in 2002. Today, we serve nearly 4,000 students and have more than 650 staff in three cities–Indianapolis, Gary and Baton Rouge–and two states–Indiana and Louisiana. And, I just reviewed data showing 40% of our network’s high school students are currently enrolled in real college classes at Indiana University NW, Purdue University NW, Ivy Tech Community College, IUPUI, Baton Rouge Community College and Marian University.
Our schools are among the best when it comes to serving children from marginalized communities and getting them to graduate from high school on time AND having already earned either a career certification and/or college degree or both, and they are debt free. Indiana just shared data with me showing our students are beating the state average in college credits and degrees earned while in high school by 5X. That is not a typo!
Our schools are helping to change the conversation about what students can learn/earn while in K-12 schools and that America can expect more from the tax dollars we invest in K-12 public education.
On a personal level, it’s really fun that I’m increasingly hearing from our alums about their new jobs working for Big Tech, big law firms, earning additional college degrees, their new home and car purchases, and growing their families–weddings and babies. In short, our alums are living a full and prosperous life.
Isn’t that what this is all about? Our schools are launching pads in support of the ideals and dreams of our country–life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Want to join us? If so, I’d like to invite you to be an Ambassador for GEO. Come visit one of our schools in Indianapolis, Gary and/or Baton Rouge and bring a friend with you–someone from the community, the legislature, business and/or the philanthropic community. Help us grow!
Come see why Indiana Secretary of Education Dr. Katie Jenner and Louisiana State Superintendent Dr. Cade Brumley are so excited about our schools. Hear directly from our students, our board members, and our families. Hear why our schools are important to them. Hear from our alums about how they are prospering, “paying it forward” and returning to serve their communities.
Every time we have visitors, we gain new friends. The conversion process begins during the approach to our schools (check out the pic above). Those in disbelief that our students earn college degrees while in high school, walk away in awe that our students are doing so much more than traditional students–and they are doing it in such challenging surroundings in schools that receive 30% less funding than traditional schools.
We need GEO Ambassadors to help share our story and to help grow our impact across the country. Are you interested? We can do more and we have BIG plans to do more. 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
P.S. Click on this link to see a recent Good Morning America report on our work. https://www.goodmorningamerica.com/news/video/helping-underprivileged-students-achieve-college-education-85085916
Below are Jamal and Jeremiah, two of our 2012 graduates. Both graduated from college on time. Jamal graduated from IU Law and is now in Chicago with a great law firm. Jeremiah graduated from Rose Hulman and was recruited to Intel as an engineer. Since then, he was recruited and now works for Microsoft. Two very successful alums! We have many more…