Despite the U.S.'s
commitment to equality for all its citizens, not all American children receive
a quality education. Too many low-income students are trapped in
poor-performing public schools by the confines of their zip codes. As a result,
economically disadvantaged children have fewer opportunities for academic
success than their middle and high income peers.
By providing underserved children with access to quality schools, ACE Scholarships closes the opportunity and achievement gaps. Against all odds, ACE's K-12 scholars not only out-perform their peers academically, but they also engage in more character building activities and habits. According to ACE’s most recent evaluation report, ACE scholars of all ages spend nearly twice as much time exercising, completing homework, and participating in extracurricular activities than the average student. At the same time, ACE high school students spend approximately 1.5 fewer hours per day on mobile devices than other Colorado teens. By increasing positive time use, ACE scholarships promote persistence in school and beyond. ACE scholars outperform their peers in every subject on the ACT, a key indicator of college and career readiness.
Unlike traditional reform efforts which can take years or decades to take hold, ACE provides immediate assistance to families who need it most. Education cannot wait for children who are in school now, and with ACE, it does not have to. Once in the quality school of their choice, our scholars thrive. Many ACE scholars enter the program two or three grade levels behind their peers but achieve proficiency after just two years in the program. ACE elementary students are 2.5 times more proficient in reading than their low-income peers and ACE middle schoolers are 5 times as proficient in math. On top of that, our current four-year high school graduation rate is 100%. ACE scholars also spend more time completing homework, doing chores, and engaging in after-school sports and arts activities than their peers.
In addition to the data we have obtained on our scholar's academic successes, ACE's achievements are also represented through our scholars' achievements and successes. ACE alum Vincenzo Artino, for instance, had a troubled childhood, spending his first five years in foster care. His mother was and remains a drug addict, and his six older siblings are either in prison or addicted to drugs as well. None of them have graduated from high school. However, things changed for Vincenzo when he was in 7th grade and was offered an ACE scholarship. With access to a quality education, he broke the generational cycle of poverty, drugs, and incarceration. He became the first member of his family to graduate from high school, and later, became the first person in his family to graduate from college. Today, Vincenzo is a medical student, and in a few short years, he will become a dental surgeon. This student’s story demonstrates the power of an education—the power of an ACE scholarship.
In order to track the success of our program, our team works closely with families and schools to gather evidence that shows the significant impact of our program. We work with high school administrators and counselors to obtain an accurate graduation rate for ACE students, and ACT scores. After graduation from high school, our Alumni Director engages with our scholars to monitor success throughout college and beyond.
Norton is the President and CEO of ACE Scholarships, a social sector organization headquartered in Colorado, which provides scholarships to low-income students in grades K-12 to attend the private school of their choice. Now in its 19th year, ACE has provided more than 35,000 scholarships and funding commitments exceeding $83 million in Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Texas, and Wyoming. Norton attended the University of Colorado on a golf scholarship and received his degree in business marketing. Norton and his wife, Kara, have three children. Kara is a second grade teacher at Arma Dei Academy, a private Christian school and ACE partner school in Highlands Ranch, Colorado.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
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