GARY, Ind., Sept. 9, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — 21st Century Charter School, the leading charter school in Indiana for college and career readiness, received the “Excellence in College Readiness” award from the Indiana Department of Education on September 8th. The school also received a $250,000 grant as part of this recognition.
Founded in 2005 as a response to Gary’s high dropout rate, the 21st Century Charter School (21C) currently serves more than 1300 students from minority and economically disadvantaged backgrounds. It consistently achieves 90% or higher graduation rates, surpassing state averages annually. Its unique focus on college and career readiness is key to the school’s high school graduation success.
“When we show our students that there is a future for them in college and various careers, they are more driven to do the work to graduate from high school on time. We place students in real college courses and real career training programs while in high school and help them earn high-quality college credits, degrees, and career certifications. These efforts are paying off,” said Kevin Teasley, founder of the GEO Foundation and 21st Century Charter School.
This past year, 21C students beat the state average in their demographic by nine times. In 2013, a 21C student became the first in Northwest Indiana to earn a full associate degree while in high school. In 2017, a 21C student became the first in Indiana history to earn a full bachelor’s degree while in high school. In 2024, the school expects two more students will complete their bachelor’s, and the school has five additional students on track to earn their bachelor’s before graduating high school in 2025.
In 2022, Indiana Black Expo honored the GEO Foundation, founders of the 21st Century Charter School, with the Rev. Charles Williams “Excellence” award.
“GEO has been doing great work in Gary, Indiana, for many years, and it is for this reason that Indiana Black Expo invited GEO to start a new school here in Indianapolis in 2019,” said Alice Watson, president of Indiana Black Expo. “While GEO’s school in Indianapolis is only beginning its 4th year of operation, we have already witnessed several students earn a full year of college before graduating from high school. These efforts are extremely important to us and our community as they go directly toward improving equity and upward economic mobility.”
“Our model improves high school completion rates, college-going and college completion rates, college affordability, debt, and career readiness,” said Teasley. “We are grateful to have this acknowledgment from the Indiana Department of Education.”
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SOURCE GEO Foundation and 21st Century Charter School
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