674 graduating seniors revealed for the first-time the college or university they will attend in the fall

IDEA Public Schools’ 674 seniors revealed their college choices to a packed arena on April 26, 27, and 28. This year marks the 11th consecutive year IDEA will send 100 percent of their graduating seniors to college. This accomplishment is all the more impressive– nearly 70 percent of our seniors are the first in their family to go to college of the graduating class of 2017.

IDEA Public Schools believes that college will be a reality for all children. Just this week, U.S. News & World Report ranked several IDEA High Schools among the best schools in the nation. IDEA ensures their students have what it takes to get into college, and then gives them what they need to graduate from college. Students who attend top colleges and universities, Tier One and Two, are statistically more likely to graduate and receive advanced degrees. IDEA has deliberately focused its curriculum and college support services to get more of its graduates into these institutions. The increase in IDEA students accepted to Tier One and Two colleges is a direct reflection of IDEA’s commitment to offer students access to all the opportunities of the most elite public and private high schools.

Six hundred seventy-three seniors celebrated their own success stories at IDEA’s College Signing Day event, including many seniors who have been accepted to Ivy League colleges and universities.

Michael Mireles: Michael will enter the Medical Program at Brown University in the fall of 2017 after graduating from IDEA Quest College Prep in Edinburg. He came to IDEA in sixth grade and has been preparing every day since then to be the first member of his family to attend college.

Michael says, “IDEA has pushed me to achieve so many great things. Through hard work and dedication, I have been named a Bezos Scholar, founded the South Texas Ideas Festival, and was accepted to an Ivy League university. I’ve never felt more proud of who I am and the things I’ve done.”

Genesis Velazquez: Genesis, a senior at IDEA Alamo, announced her choice to attend Agnes Scott College, a liberal arts college in Decatur, Georgia. Genesis, who like her peers, will also be the first in her family to go to college. While her mother worked long hours, Genesis grew up babysitting her younger autistic brother/sister, but stayed committed to her studies.

“During my time at IDEA, I embraced the core value No Excuses,” said Genesis. “No matter what I was challenges faced, my teachers and peers always pushed me to do my best work. It’s because of the core values like No Excuses and Whatever It Takes that I will be the first in my family to go to college.”

These students will leave IDEA with more than a world-class Pre-K-12 education. IDEA’s College Success Team ensures they have every resource - from financial aid to housing and travel, to academic and counseling support, well into their college careers. IDEA begins preparing students for success in college with college visits, and college counseling and application support. The support continues until each alumnus graduates from college.

“Our seniors are proof that statistics can be changed, proof that expectations can be met, and proof that college is for all,” said JoAnn Gama, superintendent of IDEA Public Schools. “College Signing Day is the largest, most celebrated event at IDEA Public Schools. All of the work that every teacher, and staff member puts in every day, is so that our students can attend a four-year college or university and graduate from a four-year college or university. We are extremely proud of the class of 2017 and all of their accomplishments.”