KIPP Launches First-Of-Its-Kind K-12 Nationwide Alumni Network
New York, NY– October 13, 2020 – KIPP Public Schools is the first K-12 public charter school network to create and launch a National Alumni Network focused on supporting career advancement, entrepreneurship, networking, and mental health services for more than 30,000 alumni, increasing to 80,000 alumni by 2025. This suite of programs has been created by and for KIPP’s alumni community, to connect alumni to each other and to opportunities beyond KIPP. This initiative is among the first of its kind for K-12 public schools in the US.
“We have been dreaming of launching this network of alumni for five years now, and I am so proud to see it come to fruition,” said Richard Barth, KIPP Foundation CEO. “What is truly inspiring is that these programs have been created and developed by our alumni to address what they need the most in their careers and in life.”
In a survey of close to 5,000 alumni, 75% of respondents ranked personal finance resources, more connections to successful people in their fields, and turning entrepreneurial ideas into businesses, as types of support they needed the most. Alumni also expressed a need for mental health resources to support them through their journey. And more than half of respondents (51%) said they would like to mentor another student at KIPP.
These are the programs available for KIPP Alumni nationwide:
KIPP has joined forces with YUPRO, an award-winning placement and coaching organization specializing in historically underrepresented talent, to create a pilot program focused on supporting KIPP alumni who do not have a college degree with coaching and job placement. Eligible alumni must have at least two years of full-time work experience to apply for the program.
Over the summer, KIPP alumni had access at no cost to the Braven Career Booster Program, a 2-week virtual Career Accelerating Bootcamp for KIPP alumni who are recent college graduates (Classes of 2018, 2019, and 2020). It covered topics including building your LinkedIn profile, interviewing for jobs, networking, and more.
“The Braven Career Booster program provided me with lots of resources to help make my job search easier, whether it be informing me of job boards, providing me with templates, or even connecting me with a career coach,” said David Segura, KIPP Texas alum. “Going through this two-week program taught me that I am not alone and that I have tons of resources available to make this search easier.”
These partnerships, and others, will be at the core of the career-development resources alumni will have available to them after high school or college graduation.
Financial Resources and Entrepreneurship:
KIPP is developing a Personal Finance Community for alumni who are interested in learning and sharing resources around financial literacy and management. KIPP has previously partnered with Ashley Copeland, CEO of Stacks and the City and a KIPP Eastern North Carolina alum, to provide tips and resources on financial navigation during the pandemic, through an eight-part webinar series called “Managing your Finances During COVID-19″.
In addition to connecting alumni to one another by creating regional associations and a National Alumni Council, the KIPP Alumni Impact team is creating a business directory so KIPP alumni can connect and expand their businesses across the network and with KIPP partners.
KIPP has partnered with AYANA Mental Health to provide free mental health counseling services for alumni. This comes at a time when many of our alumni, who are predominantly African American and Latinx, have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and are experiencing trauma from the recent shootings of Black men and women nationwide.
“For me, mental health therapy creates an honest avenue to go through self-help and AYANA provides a familiar nonbiased space that understands my experience. The fact that you don’t have to leave home and it’s a tool at your fingertips makes it even more accessible for me and so many others,” said Alyssa Gaderon, KIPP New Jersey alum and member of the George Washington University Class of 2023.
Leadership and Impact:
“To be a true KIPP Alum, I believe you must fight to amplify the voices in our communities. The Alumni Association aims to be a beacon of hope throughout the region, using our influence to make a lasting impact within the KIPP community,” said Cameron Franklin, President of the KIPP Metro Atlanta Alumni Association and member of the Howard University Class of 2021.
One of the goals for the Alumni Network is to have 1,000 KIPP alumni in positions of power by 2040. Existing programs like the KIPP Alumni Accelerator program and the KIPP Federal Policy Fellowship are already a part of that vision. The Accelerator Program is a 9-month leadership fellowship for KIPP alumni in their mid/late 20s and 30s who aspire to hold high-level positions of influence, impact, and decision-making. The KIPP Federal Policy Fellowship Program, established six years ago, supports eight college-aged alumni in securing summer internships in Washington D.C.
In addition, the Dave Goldberg Scholars Program and Amplify Scholarship help our students to persist in college and connect with influential mentors in fields like technology, finance, health and education.
KIPP, the Knowledge Is Power Program, is a national network of 255 public charter schools dedicated to preparing students in educationally underserved communities for success in college and life. KIPP schools are part of the free public school system and enrollment is open to all students. Started in 1994 as a middle school program, KIPP has since expanded to enroll over 100,000 students in all grades from PreK through high school. Nationwide, KIPP students complete their bachelor’s degree at a rate of 35 percent, comparable to the national average for all students and approximately three times higher than the average for students from low-income families.