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Urban education reform activist Steve Perry to deliver WellsLink Transitions Ceremony keynote Sept. 24

September 15, 2010

Carol Kim Masiclat
(315) 443-8568

Students participating in SU’s WellsLink Transitions Ceremony Sept. 24 will have as their speaker one of today’s most innovative and successful champions of urban education reform: Steve Perry, founder and principal of the Capital Preparatory Magnet School in Hartford, Conn. The event will take place at 4 p.m. in Hendricks Chapel.

perryPerry has made national headlines for helping students from one of the state’s lowest performing school districts achieve their dreams of attending college. The school he founded in 2005 has around 300 sixth-through 12th grade students, in which no students drop out and all go on to four-year colleges. The students, 80 percent of whom are African American or Latino, go to school year round and on Saturdays.

“This year’s program will be especially memorable because 23 of Perry’s students will be accompanying him to Syracuse University and the seniors will be interviewing with our admissions officers,” says Tae-Sun Kim, associate director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs. “None of Dr. Perry’s students have attended Syracuse University, but we are going to try to change that. Capital Prep and WellsLink share the goal of sending 100 percent of high school students to college, with 100 percent college retention.”

Perry’s work with Capital Prep has made national headlines, and last year he was featured on CNN’s special series, “Black in America.” His mix of high expectations and tough love create opportunities that enable Capital Prep students to defy the odds. He has also authored two books: “Man Up! Nobody is Coming to Save Us” (Renegade Books, 2006), and “Raggedy Schools: the Untold Truth” (Renegade Books, 2009). Both books will be available for sale by the Syracuse University Bookstore before and after the event.

Perry earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Rhode Island, a master’s degree in social work from the University of Pennsylvania and a doctoral degree in education from the University of Hartford.

The WellsLink Leadership Program is an academic excellence program for first-year students of color who are not sponsored by any of the University’s state- or federally-funded programs. It features a series of structured academic, social and cultural enrichment activities that train students for success in the classroom and as leaders on campus and beyond. The transitions ceremony celebrates the accomplishments of students who have successfully completed their first year of college.

For more information about the WellsLink Leadership Program, contact Kim at (315) 443-9676 or visit

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