Elizabeth Morrison

For the first time in its history, University Academy (UA), a charter school in Kansas City, had a student accepted into an Ivy League school. The student’s name is Jazmyne Smith, and she will be attending the University of Pennsylvania.

As exciting and heartwarming as that is, the story of who helped her makes it even better. As KCUR reports, University Academy’s guidance counselor, Josh Burdette, had never helped a student get into an Ivy League school before. When he realized he had a student who had a good chance of being accepted, he reached out to David Burke. David is the guidance counselor at Pembroke Hill, one of the city’s most elite private schools, and he jumped at the chance to help. He guided Josh through the process of creating a compelling school profile to give to universities and even set up meetings with contacts at Ivy League schools and other prestigious colleges around the country.  University Academy has already reaped the benefits.

Schools have different ways of doing things, and that’s fine. The relationship that Pembroke Hill and UA have created shows that schools of all shapes and sizes can work together to help students.

What can we learn from all this? Cooperation and shared goals can help our students succeed. Because of Jazmyne’s hard work, Josh’s willingness to look outside his own school for help, and David’s willingness to lend his expertise, doors are being opened to UA students that seemed closed not long ago. The school is looking toward bigger and better things for their students—we won’t be surprised to see more UA graduates accepted into Ivy League schools in the future.

About the Author

Elizabeth Morrison
Elizabeth Morrison
Education Policy Research Assistant
Elizabeth Morrison is an education policy research assistant at the Show-Me Institute. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Regent University.