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IDEA Public Schools Celebrates College Matriculation for the Class of 2020


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RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TEXAS (September 29, 2020) – IDEA Public Schools is excited to announce that, in addition to 100 percent of the Class of 2020 gaining college admission, they are also celebrating the Class of 2020 matriculating to college this fall.

Since 2007, IDEA has achieved a nearly perfect college matriculation rate as it pursues its unwavering commitment of College for All children, ensuring graduates are prepared to succeed in college, career, and life. The network has maintained these extraordinary results as it has grown to serve more than 66,000 students, across 120 schools in Texas and Louisiana, since 2000—more than any other charter school network during this time period.  

The Class of 2020 was accepted to more than 383 colleges and universities, with nearly 4,804 acceptances to selective and highly selective colleges. This class earned over $26 million in grants and scholarships, and 857 graduates are the first members of their family to attend college. 

“The Class of 2020 is navigating the start of their college experience in a way that no other IDEA class ever has—amidst a global pandemic,” says JoAnn Gama, Co-Founder, CEO and Superintendent of IDEA Public Schools. They faced challenging decisions over the summer: to leave for college, opt for virtual learning, or re-think their college choice, all of which are understandable during these unprecedented, uncertain times. Still, they found their way.”

“I wanted to go to Boston University to experience college life outside of the Rio Grande Valley,” says Diego Castillo, an IDEA Toros Class of 2020 alumnus and current student at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) Honors College. “But after COVID-19 happened, it made me reevaluate the things that were important to me.” 

Castillo chose to stay close to home and attend UTRGV as a biology pre-med major while co-founding “Project COVID Care,” an organization that delivers food and supplies to senior citizens, the disabled, and other vulnerable populations locally during the quarantine.  

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IDEA’s promise to students doesn’t end when they are accepted to college, nor matriculate to college. College for All Children is made possible by the talented staff, innovative programs, and cultivating a college-going culture. Through IDEA’s College Support Model, staff partners with families to see every student to and through college. They provide a wide range of services and support while for students in college. IDEA’s alumni team plays the primary role in ensuring graduates have the resources they need to succeed. They regularly check in with alumni via person-to-person meetings, phone calls, text messages, emails, and more, providing students on-the-spot coaching related to college success.   

“It is rare to find schools like IDEA who are this committed to doing whatever it takes to ensure 100% of graduates matriculate to college,” says Phillip Garza, IDEA Public Schools Chief College and Diversity Officer. “For the fourteenth year, we achieved our 100% acceptance goal, and we achieved our college matriculation goal, and this is certainly something to celebrate.” 

To learn more about IDEA Public Schools, please visit www.ideapublicschools.org

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