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    The Soulsville Charter School – Already – Achieves 100-percent College Acceptance for Class of 2013!



    It’s hard to see through the huge front windows of The Soulsville Charter School’s (TSCS) classroom building, which shares its campus with the Stax Museum of American Soul Music and Stax Music Academy. And that’s because the windows, as well as many of the walls inside the school, are plastered with dozens of college acceptance letters.

    In fact, there are letters for each senior in this year’s graduating class because for the second year in a row, every senior in TSCS has – already – been accepted to college, all of them to four-year programs, many of them to some of the most prestigious colleges and universities in the country, and many with substantial scholarships.

    Last year, TSCS had its first-ever graduation, with all 51 seniors accepted to college, many of whom started here in the sixth grade in 2005, when the school was founded, and many of them years behind in academic achievement at that time. The combined amount of scholarships and grants among the class was more than $3.8 million. The graduation day was featured in a live segment from the school on MSNBC’s Morning Joe with ESPN analyst Digger Phelps, who referred to TSCS as “an American success story.”

    The 100 percent acceptance rate was achieved last year in May. This year, it happened in February.

    Just some of the schools to which TSCS students have been accepted this year areRhodes College, Wesleyan University, Wake Forest University, Tufts University, University of Tennessee Knoxville, Barnard College, Morehouse College, Carleton College, Sewanee: The University of the South, Centre College, University of Virginia, and Rice University with many more colleges yet to notify students.

    One senior, Stephani Brownlee, received a $250,000 scholarship to Brown University, as a winner of the Questbridge National College Match. Another, Calvin McGowan, was one of only a few Memphis City Schools students to receive a prestigious National Achievement Scholarship. Three young men have also received full tuition scholarships to Morehouse.

    While TSCS had 51 seniors last year, this year there are only 37 and the students and college counselors are working feverishly to surpass that $3.8 million, even though it’s a smaller group. The school will make a major announcement about this on Saturday, April 27th, during Stax to the Max, the Stax Museum’s all-day, outdoor, free arts and music festival. And because there will be a junket of more than 25 international journalists here covering the festival and this year’s celebration of the Stax Museum’s 10th anniversary, TSCS expects this will garner worldwide attention.

    During the 2011-2012 school year, TSCS had one full-time and one part-time college counselors on its College and Alumni Support Team. During the 2012-2013 school year, that number increased to two full-time and one-part time counselors, plus a part-time coordinator, who is focused not only on current TSCS students, but also the alumni who the office is charged with follow-up throughout their college years.

    “Everything we do at TSCS is focused on preparing the students not only for college, but also for success in college and beyond,” says NeShante Brown, TSCS’s executive director. “Each of the school’s classrooms is themed around a college or university and on most mornings this time of year, we announce college acceptance letters over the intercom. This generates a buzz among the students and faculty and is exciting and encouraging to the younger students who will be graduating in years to come.”

    For more information, please contact Soulsville Foundation communications director Tim Sampson 901-485-8735. For more information about TSCS, please visit www.thesoulsvillecharterschool.org.