Location: Washington, DC
Allison R. Kokkoros
Each year, the Carlos Rosario International Public Charter School provides classes in English as a Second Language, technology essentials, career training, and citizenship and GED test preparation to more than 2,900 low-income adult learners from countries around the globe. “Many have had interrupted schooling in their home country due to crises and war, and are now, as adults, picking up where they left off,” says CEO Allison R. Kokkoros.
Fun Fact: At the 2016 Achieving the Dream event, several attendees were moved to make donations of $1,000 or more, including a sponsor who increased his company’s donation on the spot.
When Kokkoros took on her current role, she saw a need to widen the Carlos Rosario School’s circle of supporters and to get the word out to new audiences about the school’s innovative model. Under her leadership, staff, students and teachers joined together in 2014 to host an Achieving the Dream lunch at the school’s new Sonia Gutierrez campus. The lunch for 120 guests was planned, prepared and served by the school’s culinary arts program and underwritten by multiple corporate sponsors, including Bank of America and Verizon. Following the lunch, attendees engaged as new “friends” of the school in various ways, including becoming classroom volunteers and joining the school’s corporate advisory committees.
The Carlos Rosario School can point to a number of achievements for its student population. For example, 84 percent of its GED test takers passed the test between 2012 and 2015. Of those students who passed, 76 percent did so in four or fewer semesters.