FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 23, 2022
Bryan Kelley, Vice President
GEO Academies Announced as Recipient of
Rev. Charles E. Williams Excellence Award
Indianapolis, IN – Today, Indiana Black Expo announced that it will honor GEO Academies with the Rev. Charles E. Williams Excellence Award at the Pacers Sports & Entertainment Corporate Luncheon presented by Indiana University. The luncheon will take place on Friday, July 15 at 11:00 AM in the Sagamore Ballroom at the Indiana Convention Center. Doors open at 10:00 AM.
The Rev. Charles R. Williams Excellence Award is given to those who have helped shape, contribute, or strengthen IBE’s vision of promoting African-American achievement in academics, athletics, business, education or the arts. The recipient must be a leader who has demonstrated courage, vision and dedication to diversity in the community.
GEO Academies currently serves 3500 students in eight schools located in Gary, Indianapolis and Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The student population served is 99% African-American and 100% low-income. Nearly all schools are led by minority leaders and more than 80% of GEO Academies’ staff is African-American. 21st Century Charter School in Gary is its flagship school that serves 1300 students. 21st Century Charter School regularly posts high school graduation rates of 90% or better and has one of the highest college and career readiness ratings in the state surpassing several of our state’s richest communities. The school focuses on college immersion and regularly graduates students having earned two full years of college, an associate degree, while in high school. These students earn these degrees at no cost to them. 21st Century Charter School has the only student in Indiana history to earn a full bachelor’s degree (from Purdue University) while in high school and has two more students in the pipeline who will accomplish this goal in 2024. It has had 16-year-olds earn associate degrees and this year, a 13-year-old earned his associate degree when he should be in 7th grade.
Due to its success in Gary, GEO has been invited to start schools in Indianapolis and Baton Rouge and has the highest performing charter schools serving their demographics in Baton Rouge.
GEO’s work and student success has been featured on ABC’s Good Morning America, CBS Evening News, Fox News, USA Today and many other news outlets.
“This year, IBE has been intentional in its efforts to uplift our educators and a battered and undervalued profession that is needed to advance our youth and families academically, socially and economically. We are providing a vehicle, cash awards and other tokens of appreciation to educators at our statewide Education Conference as a small gesture of how we appreciate their contributions to our youth and community. This honor is no different,” said IBE President & CEO Tanya Bell Mckinzie. “At a time when African Americans and low-income families continue to face the consequence of income inequality and lack of access to affordable higher education, the work of GEO Academies supports the upward mobility of economically disadvantaged and underserved African American students and, as such, contributes to the wellbeing of our state and country,” added Mckinzie.
“I’m grateful to Indiana Black Expo for recognizing the work of our staff and our families at GEO Academies over the past 20 years. We firmly believe students are capable and want to do so much more than tradition expects. Our staff works hard to support our students and their aspirations every day. This award recognizes their efforts and hopefully will inspire others to consider doing the same for their communities,” said Kevin Teasley, Founder & President of Geo Academies.
About Indiana Black Expo, Inc.
Indiana Black Expo, Inc. is a nonprofit 501(c) (3) statewide organization with 12-chapter affiliates. The mission of IBE is to serve as an effective voice and vehicle for the social and economic advancement of African-Americans. IBE is known for its two major events, Summer Celebration and Circle City Classic® and provides year-round youth and family initiatives, including its Education Conference, recent Black Business Training Institute, Performing Arts Academy, Community Learning Hub, Education Day (college fair), Summer Internship Program, Scholarship Fund, Statewide Anti-Tobacco Initiative, Youth Leadership Summit, Employment Opportunity Fair, and Business Series and Conference.