Local charter school partners with Washington University to provide free education

ByKelly Davis

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A charter school is giving underprivileged students the power to attend college. And not just any college. Students in the Knowledge Is Power Program will get a chance to attend one of the most prestigious schools in the country, St. Louis’ own Washington University.

KIPP aims to bring high quality education to underprivileged areas. The middle school in north St. Louis gives students a chance to change the course of their lives.

“I’m really, really focused on attending college because my mom didn’t finish college and my dad didn’t go to college,” said Everette Hill, an 8th grader at KIPP.

Kelly Garrett, the executive director of KIPP St. Louis, said, “It really requires that you have both strong character and strong academic skills to be successful both in school and in life.”

The charter school focuses on rigorous classes in order to get students ready for college, partnering with 80 universities across the country. It recently added Washington University to that list, which makes it the only secondary school in the state on the list.

“To have Wash U be a KIPP college partner means that for our students that meet that academic rigor of getting into Wash U they can earn a college degree and leave debt free.” said Garrett.

Hill said, “It means a lot because my family history is not that good, I want to change my history and leave a mark on my entire family.”

KIPP not only give kids the chance to go to college for free, it helps them make it happen.

“I feel like KIPP focuses on now and later. So they’re not just staying, ‘Go to college,’ but they’re saying, ‘Go to and go through college.’ They really want to make sure you have a successful life,” said Hill.