KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -- Create college students, that was the goal when the Kauffman School opened its doors in 2011.
This week, the first wave of graduates are coming through and 100% of them are going to college.
“I wanted to just basically represent my family from day one,” Jason Brown, a Kauffman School graduate, said.
Brown was one of the first students to walk through the doors of the Ewing Marion Kauffman School and he’ll be in the first class to graduate.
The bright-eyed little boy wanted to be an author.
“Every time I see the Kauffman sign it says, ‘this is the journey to college’,” Brown said.
And indeed, it was. Fast forward to Brown’s senior year, not only has he already written a children’s novel, he said it’s Afro Fantasy, the type of book he wishes he’d had to read as a kid, but he’s also accomplished something else.
“My name is Jason Brown and I got into Brown University,” Brown said.
Brown’s dreams are coming true.
“I thank God first. I think it’s most important to have this belief in yourself that you can do these things because they seem impossible at first,” Brown said.
In this first graduating class at the Kauffman School, not only are 100% of the kids going on to college, 75% of them are the first in their families to go to college at all.
For the founder and CEO of the school, it doesn’t get better than this.
“Just watching how the dreams that they have for themselves are coming true minute by minute and it’s really amazing,” Hannah Lofthus, with Kauffman School, said.
Lofthus handpicked the first students to attend the school, the majority of whom were years behind where they should’ve been academically, that includes Brown.
“So when they came in they were performing at about 31 percentile, by the time they left ninth grade, a short four years later, they surpassed 98% of the kids in the state,” Lofthus said.
Impressive stats for an equally impressive group of students who so richly deserved a chance.
“I had the vision as a young man, but I didn’t have the actual opportunity and then Kauffman paved the way for that,” Brown said.
The school is looking for students for next year. It is free and open to any student living in the Kansas City, Missouri Public School District area.