Tuesday, April 23 2013. By Sheila Ballen

Philadelphia (April 22, 2013) – Mastery Charter Schools is proud to announce that two Mastery students were awarded nationally competitive scholarships. 


Kevin Beaford at Mastery Charter School Thomas Campus was awarded Mastery’s first ever Gates Millennium Scholar.  Gates Millennium Scholar is a nationally-competitive and elite scholarship that provides full financial support for any undergraduate school and graduate school programs for 10 years.  In addition to the financial support, the scholarship provides recipients with leadership development opportunities, mentoring, academic and social support.  Kevin will attend the University of Pennsylvania in Fall, 2013.


Keiya Rankin, a senior at Mastery Charter Schools Shoemaker Campus and a student in CCP and Mastery’s Dual Enrollment program was chosen as a Dell Scholar.  Dell Scholars, a nationally-competitive and elite scholarship awarded to only 300 students a year, provides $20,000 for undergraduate studies as well as technology, books and personalized support for four years.  Keiya is still deciding among her top acceptances – Drexel University, Arcadia University, St. Joseph’s University and Franklin and Marshall.


“We are so proud of these hard working students and so pleased that these national organizations are rewarding these students for that work,” said Scott Gordon, CEO of Mastery Charter Schools.  “Mastery Charter Schools prepares students for college and these awards validate what we have known all along- every student can achieve at the highest level.” 


While the students’ academic achievements are impressive, the students' schools also tell a story.  Mastery Shoemaker was one of the lowest performing schools in Philadelphia when Mastery turned it around in 2006.  At that time, it was the second most violent school in the city.  Now, its students who are winning nationally prestigious full ride scholarships.


“These two scholarships are typically given to only the top 5% of applicants, which are the same odds as being admitted into Harvard University,” continued Gordon.  “Our students won these awards based on their essays, academic record, daily hard work and their grit and determination.  These are the values that truly epitomize Mastery Charter Schools.  Bravo Kevin and Keiya,” he concluded.



About Mastery Charter Schools

Mastery Charter Schools is a non-profit charter school network currently operating eleven schools in Philadelphia serving nearly 8,000 students in grades K-12. Nine of our schools are turnarounds of low-performing district schools and a tenth is a charter turnaround. The first three turnarounds were School District of Philadelphia (SDP) middle schools that now serve students in grades 7-12. Test scores in each of the three schools increased, on average, more than 40 percentage points per grade and subject. Violence decreased by 80% and student turnover dropped by one-third.


Mastery Charter School’s mission is to ensure that all students learn the academic and personal skills they need to succeed in higher education, to compete in the global economy, and to pursue their dreams.  “Excellence. No Excuses.” 


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