Shepherds is a non-denominational, non-profit organization serving the needs of Connecticut’s inner-city high school students who might otherwise fall between the cracks in the public school system.
By providing financial support for a college preparatory education at a non-public high school, an adult mentor, and teaching academic and life skills, Shepherds empowers young people to build a strong foundation for their future success.
WHY WE DO IT
Shepherds believes that everyone deserves a fair chance to succeed. Inner-city Connecticut high school students confront serious challenges on several fronts:
- Many students come from single parent households in which the parent may have multiple jobs to make ends meet.
- Many parents have not graduated high school themselves and English is often not the primary language spoken at home.
- A student’s primary education may have been weak and a student who just got by may be performing several years below grade level.
- The financial requirements of a private education far exceed the family’s ability to realize such an opportunity.
The high school graduation rate among many of Connecticut’s inner-city public school systems is as low as 55% – 60%.
HOW WE DO IT
Shepherds’ mission is to help as many students as possible move beyond these inner-city realities and greatly increase not only the likelihood that they will graduate from high school, but also have a firm foundation for future life successes.
Shepherds’ program provides three key elements in building that foundation:
- Financial support needed to help inner-city high school students student attend a non-public, college preparatory high school in their community
- An adult mentor who acts a role-model, encouraging and motivating the student to achieve his/her potential over their four-year high school journey together
- Academic Support & Life Skills training including study skills, life and social skills, college test prep courses, and college tours
The result is a 95% high school graduation rate for Shepherds students in the past five years with more than 90% of our graduates moving on to pursue higher education.