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Students at Burke High School Honored by National Nonprofit for Top Performance in College Courses

Students at Burke High School Honored by National Nonprofit for Top Performance in College Courses 

National Education Equity Lab’s Spring 2023 Honor Society recognizes students from Title I high schools who have excelled in college courses from the nation’s top colleges


Charleston, SC (AUGUST 9, 2023) -- Charleston County School District and Burke High School announced today that eleven students have been named to the Spring 2023 Honor Society of the National Educational Equity Lab (Ed Equity Lab), an education justice nonprofit that works to bridge the gap between high school and college for students from low-income communities. The honorees are scholars whose academic performance was in the top 20 percent of all scholars nationwide taking dual credit Ed Equity Lab courses, from schools including: Howard University, Stanford University, Princeton University, Wesleyan University, Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania, Georgetown University, Cornell University, Brown University, Spelman College, Barnard College at Columbia University and Arizona State University.


“Every semester, hundreds of scholars across the country prove that talent is equally distributed, but opportunity is not. Their success in professor-led courses from the top colleges in the United States is a testament to the fact that learners from all backgrounds have what it takes to succeed in higher education and beyond,” said Leslie Cornfeld, Founder and CEO of the National Education Equity Lab. “We’re grateful for the collaboration of our high school and university partners, and honored to recognize these students for their brilliance, determination, and enthusiasm for learning.”


Burke High School with the support of Acceleration Schools had 31 students participate in this program. All 31 students earned both high school and college credits. Eleven of the students made the National Honor Roll including the top performers in each course. Lakiyah Harris was named Valedictorian for Introductory Sociology and Jasmine Jones was named the Valedictorian for The Education of Black Girls. Adn Mustafaa was named Salutatorian for The Education of Black Girls.   The scholars will be honored at a virtual ceremony on August 23 featuring university professors, high school teachers, district leaders, the National Ed Equity Lab board, and CEO Leslie Cornfeld.


Former US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, an Ed Equity Lab board member, called this effort “game-changing” for students. “Democratizing access to higher education in our nation has never been more critical. Efforts like this help us do just that.” 


Principal of Burke High School, Cheryl Swinton says, “Our partnership with the National Education Equity Lab continues to promote the vision of Burke High School that students, when given the opportunity, will not only thrive but excel comparatively on a national level with their peers. These experiences help us to level the playing field while offering our learners a unique perspective as they engage in rigorous studies that promote post-secondary success.” 


Students being recognized on August 23rd are as follows: Jacob Brown, Jaha Brown, Lakiyah Harris, William Jenkins, Jasmine Jones (both courses), Ryleigh Keith, Empress Moore, Adn Mustafaa, Janyra Stewart, and Precious Townsend.


The National Education Equity Lab is an education justice nonprofit that aims to democratize access to college by partnering with top colleges and universities to offer actual college credit-bearing courses in teacher-led Title 1 high school classrooms across the country. Participating students gain the opportunity to take actual college courses from top professors, with weekly live discussions led by university teaching fellows, co-taught by teachers at their high schools. Scholars earn widely transferable college credits and a transcript from the offering institution upon successful completion. Starting in 2019 with a single Harvard humanities course in 25 high schools, the Lab has now served nearly 15,000 students in 134 cities across 30 states.