At BELIEVE Circle City High School, BlueHub’s first borrower in Indiana, education is carefully tailored to the needs of each student. BELIEVE begins by helping students identify their passions and purpose, then provides the support necessary for each student to meet their goals. “Sometimes we just need to unlock the genius that’s already there,” says Kimberly Neal-Brannum, the school’s founder and executive director.
BELIEVE shares a campus with Ivy Tech Community College; the schools offer dual enrollment, wherein students take classes at both institutions. To Neal-Brannum, that is critical for her students’ long-term success. “We know that not all our kids will matriculate to a four-year college, but having even some college education changes their financial trajectory,” she explains. “Most charter schools work to close the achievement gap, but we want to take that a step further. We are working to close the income gap. We want BELIEVE to set the tone for urban education for students of color.”
When BELIEVE sought funding to acquire and improve its currently leased site, the Charter School Growth Fund (CSGF), our longtime partner, made the connection to BlueHub. Now, BlueHub’s $2.6 million loan augments a grant from the Mind Trust, a nonprofit that invests in public education, and an Entrepreneur-in-Residence loan from CSGF. Together, we are securing BELIEVE’s place on the Ivy Tech campus — and helping to give BELIEVE students a solid educational foundation.