Dr. Steve Perry, the 2010 DSU Commencement keynote speaker, has shown the nation what can be done in the education of inner-city youth through his founding of the Capital Prep Magnet School in Hartford, Conn. The year-round grade 6-12 school boasts a near 0% dropout rate and 100% of their graduates go on to college. The success of this school has made Dr. Perry a much sought-after speaker throughout the country on education issues.
Born of a white teenage mother and black teenage father in the housing projects of Middletown, Conn., the 2010 Commencement keynote speaker was taught by his mother’s activism in their community. He learned that life is not determined by where you begin, but by the path chosen with success being defined by where you end. As he went on to college – which included a Bachelor of Political Science from the University of Rhode Island, a Master of Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania and a Doctorate in Education from the University of Hartford – he was sustained by the philosophy of commitment and accountability he learned from his mother.
After establishing the Connecticut Collegiate Awareness Program (ConnCAP), a non-profit organization for low income high school students aspiring to go to college, Dr. Perry founded the Capital Preparatory Magnet School in 2005. Recognized by the U.S. News & World Report as one of America’s Best High Schools, Capital Prep Magnet School has maintained a 100% college acceptance record in its first five years of existence. Under the leadership of Dr. Perry, who serves as the principal, the middle/high school has established an ultra-high level standard of commitment and accountability for students, teachers, administrators and parents. Dr. Perry is also the author of several books, including Man Up! Nobody is Coming to Save Us (2006) and Raggedy Schools: The Untold Truth (2009). He is a widely sought expert who has served as an education contributor on CNN, MSNBC and Fox.