Black Expo Bringing Gary Model to New Charter School

Posted: Updated:
Kevin Teasley is the founder and president of the GEO Foundation. Kevin Teasley is the founder and president of the GEO Foundation.

Indiana Black Expo Inc. is teaming up with the Indianapolis-based GEO Foundation to open its first school next year. The foundation says the school will be located at IBE's new headquarters on the east side of Indianapolis and  use the same college immersion model as the foundation's 21st Century Charter School in Gary.

Kevin Teasley, founder and president of the GEO Foundation, says the model provides low-income, minority students the opportunity to attend and complete a college education, which starts with taking college courses while in high school.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Teasley said the partnership was formed after IBE Chief Executive Officer Tanya Bell visited the Gary school.

"(She) was pretty impressed by the number of high school students taking college-level courses while in high school and basically walked away saying, 'No one's doing this in Indianapolis,' and that's true; no one's doing what we are doing with the population we are serving," said Teasley. "Basically, we're getting 80-81 percent of our students to take real college courses while they are in high school. We've got a number of students earning full associate's degrees; we've had 25 do that in the last five or six years. We've actually got the only student in Indiana's history to earn a full bachelor's degree while in high school."

The foundation says graduates from its Gary school this year finished high school with an average of 19 college credits completed. Teasley says bringing the model to Indy will create a great opportunity for students in the community. 

Teasley says a reason for the small number of low-income, minority students going to or completing college is a lack of experience while they are in high school.

"Generally speaking, our families in Gary, Indiana come from homes that have very few experiences in college; roughly 10 percent of the children we serve have any college in their high school. So, to expect these students to graduate from high school and go straight to college and complete college without giving them any experience in college while they're in our high school is kind of a silly expectation." 

The school is slated to open in August 2020 and Teasley says it will open with a class of 200 freshmen. The partners are working with several higher education institutions in Indianapolis, including IUPUI, Ivy Tech Community College, Marian University, Butler University and the University of Indianapolis. 

"We actually look to serve all the students that come to us and place them in the right setting, whether that's Ivy Tech or IUPUI or Marion or wherever. It's a very different model. The students are literally on college campuses and believe it or not, parents, your kids can do this."

In 2017, Teasley appeared on Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick along with student Raven Osborne, who earned her associate's and bachelor's degrees while attending the 21st Century Charter School in Gary. You can watch the full interview by clicking here.

Teasley says the partnership was formed after IBE Chief Executive Officer Tanya Bell visited the Gary school.
Teasley says the reason for the small number of low-income, minority students going to or completing college is a lack of experience while they are in high school.
  • Perspectives

    • Ahh…Yes! Turning a Hot Mess into a Cool Breeze

      "Problems cannot be solved by the level of thinking that created them," is attributed to Einstein over 75 years ago. This still holds true, particularly in challenging communications. Many people address conflict at the level it was created by rehashing and building more evidence for their ‘side’ of an argument. Repeating a position tends to intensify the separation of people.



Company Name:
Confirm Email:
INside Edge
Morning Briefing
BigWigs & New Gigs
Life Sciences Indiana
Indiana Connections


  • Most Popular Stories

    • The IU School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering will now be named for Fred Luddy for his $60M gift. (photo courtesy James Brosher/IU)

      $60M Gift to IU, Second Largest in School History

      An Indiana University alumnus who founded the information technology firm, ServiceNow, has given his alma mater $60 million to establish an artificial intelligence center. The university says the gift from cloud-computing pioneer Fred Luddy is the second largest in the history of the IU.

    • POET ethanol co. announced in Aug 2019 it was closing the plant in Cloverdale. (photo courtesy: POET)

      Cloverdale Ethanol Plant Closes

      South Dakota-based POET LLC, the nation’s largest biofuels producer, is moving forward with a plan to shut down its biorefining plant in Cloverdale, leaving 50 Hoosiers without jobs effective Friday. The company tells Inside INdiana Business that it is not making any changes to the plans announced two months ago. 

    • The multi-year road project stretched from Bloomington to Indianapolis.

      I-69 Road Project Update

      The Indiana Department of Transportation has scheduled three public meetings for next week to update the community on the I-69 Section 6 road project.    Section 6 is an approximately $1.5 billion new interstate project stretching from Martinsville to I-465 in Indianapolis.

    • Chrissy Vasquez and Adam Ramsey

      Indy Reads Adds Staff

      Indy Reads Books has hired Chrissy Vasquez (pictured) as chief development officer to oversee marketing, development and the store. Also, Adam Ramsey (pictured) has been named manager of engagement, specializing in story telling through video and social media. Vasquez previously served as executive director and vice president of operations for Back on My Feet.  

    • Purdue Global Now Offers Analytics Degree

      The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that jobs in the field of data analysis are projected to grow 26 percent over the next ten years. Acting upon that data, Indianapolis-based Purdue University Global has launched a new Bachelor of Science degree program in analytics.