KIPP New Orleans Students Across All High Schools Earn Bard College Associate Degrees

NEW ORLEANS, LA - In a celebration of academic excellence, students from all three KIPP New Orleans high schools – Frederick A. Douglass High School, Booker T. Washington High School, and John F. Kennedy High School – received their associate degrees in arts from the prestigious Bard College on Saturday, May 11. These trailblazers will also receive their high school diplomas on Friday, May 17. This year marks a significant milestone as the 100th graduate from the program has earned their associate degree.

The program's innovative model embeds Bard College professors teaching college courses right within Frederick A. Douglass High School campus. Bard's unique admissions process focuses on evaluating students' intellectual drive and promise through seminars and interviews, rather than just grades and test scores. This allows the program to identify potential in students across New Orleans for its rigorous liberal arts curriculum. All KIPP New Orleans students have access to this program.

By earning their associate's degrees from Bard tuition-free before even finishing high school, these KIPP students get an extraordinary head start on their path to a bachelor's degree. Graduates from the BECNO program have gone on to attend selective admissions schools such as Columbia, Yale, Duke, Tulane, Bard College, Loyola, Illinois Wesleyan, Villanova, Case Western, University of Notre Dame, Spelman, Fisk, and Howard. In this specific class, students are heading to Spelman, Connecticut College, American University, Bard College, Villanova, and Duke University, all on full financial packages. Many students are also attending Louisiana schools such as LSU, ULL, Dillard, UNO, and ULM.

Approximately 80% of Bard Early College graduates finish a four-year degree, often ahead of time, compared to the national average of 60%. Notable alumni include Peyton Jasmine (CO2021), who graduated from Fisk; Gabby Woods (CO2021), who graduated from Bard, Kim Boult (CO2020), who graduated from Bard and now works at NOMA; Rainah White (CO2021), who graduated from LSU, Angel Johnson (CO2021), who graduated from Bard this May; and Nathaniel Smith (CO2020), who graduated from JSU.

In total, 34 Associate Degrees were awarded to students from the three KIPP high schools, with an additional nine students earning 45 or more credits, demonstrating their commitment to academic achievement.

Among the recipients were students from Frederick A. Douglass High School, including Trinity Barnes, Laila Bias, Ostin Brock, Damon Cross, Maria Curry, Davine Davis, Laila Dunlap, Amaya Frazier,  Kendrick Forges, Kayontrell Hales, Ardan Hall, Cierra Hayes,  Ariyah Howard, Jinaki Johnson, Chavier Johnson Jr., Keynel Lavigne, Alyssa Lawson, Anta Lo, Aleasecia Lonzo, Freddie Maxwell, Evoney McFarland, Kyle Mutin, Deja Nelson, Chioma Onyemara, Emily Osorio Quintos, Cameron Robertson, Amari Shepherd, Derek Shorts, Anaiya Stewart, Charles Walker, Chelsea Watson, Marlee Webster, and Caylice Williams.

From Booker T. Washington High School, Skyler Dixon, Janae Martin, Carli Meeks, and Lyric Reed were among the accomplished recipients.

John F. Kennedy High School students Da'Mayah Clark, Chelsey Dailey, Te’ron Moss, Deion Reed, Taj Rhodes, and Roslyn Robertson also earned their associate degrees.

"We are immensely proud of these students' achievements," said Stephanie Hinton, Bard Early College New Orleans Coordinator at KIPP New Orleans Schools. "Their hard work has paid off, and they have paved the way for more KIPP students to pursue elite liberal arts pathways."