KIPP Students Visit, Alumnus Pledges Scholarship Funds
June 9, 2011 – The 60 or so fifth-graders from a New York City KIPP school who visited Georgetown yesterday may one day benefit from a $1 million pledge to form a scholarship for KIPP students to attend the university.
KIPP – which stands for Knowledge Is Power Program – is a network of 99 free open-enrollment college preparatory public schools in 20 states and the District of Columbia.
The schools have predominately African-American and Hispanic students and are based in underserved communities and cities.
Peter Croncota (B’83), director of operations for New York City’s KIPP Infinity Charter School, says he made his pledge through the university’s 1789 Scholarship Imperative to honor his parents.
“I hope that the creation of the scholarship encourages more KIPP students to apply to Georgetown,” Croncota says, “and… results in an increasing number of KIPP students who attend Georgetown.”
During their Wednesday visit, The KIPP students sat in on a physics class, met with President John J. DeGioia and worked out with student athletes and coaches.
“I was blessed to be part of this trip and see Georgetown and how the students learn,” says KIPP fifth-grader Kimberly Martinez.
Martinez, who says she enjoyed meeting the university’s mascot, Jack the Bulldog, said she would like to attend Georgetown when she graduates from high school.
“I think this is a phenomenal college,” she says.
Croncota spent 20 years working at Wall Street investment firm Bear Stearns before retiring in 2004 to focus on an education career. He says his current role is “the best job in the world.”
“I love going to work every day,” he said. “The kids are absolutely amazing … the teachers I work with are incredible. The work that KIPP is doing I hope can be a model for low-income students around the country.”
DeGioia talked to the students about Georgetown’s history and touched upon his undergraduate experience to show how the school helps students grow and prepare for life.
“What we hope for everybody who comes here is to do the best work … and perform at a level you didn’t know was possible,” he says. “Just know that everything you are doing now is in preparation for doing the kind of work that we do here.”
KIPP student Roberto Hidalgo presented DeGioia with a gift bag containing a KIPP Infinity sweatshirt at the end of the meeting.
“I think Georgetown is a wonderful school,” Hidalgo says. “It looks really great, I love all the buildings here and I just love everything about it here. I want to apply to Georgetown and I would love to study here and be a part of the school. ”