Geneva 2020 Delivers Update – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Geneva 2020 Delivers Update

Garsevan Bekauri receives an award from Board of Education President Ford Weiskittel.
Garsevan Bekauri receives an award from Board of Education President Ford Weiskittel.

Geneva 2020, the community-wide initiative to increase graduation rates, improve literacy, boost college and career readiness, and ensure every child enters school ready to learn, will host a breakfast event to present key updates and address goals going forward. The gathering will take place on March 9 at 7:30 a.m. at the Ramada Geneva Lakefront.

Thanks to the efforts of a broad based group of community members in Geneva 2020 working with dedicated teachers and school administrators, much progress has been made in the Geneva City School District, including advancing the graduation rate from 70.7 percent in 2010 to 84.9 percent today. Other successes include everything from purchasing laboratory coats for science students to creating a tutor corps, as well as adding new Advanced Placement classes at Geneva High School. In addition, more than 500 Geneva students visit Hobart and William Smith for campus tours each year, and about 75 GHS students attend monthly career chats.

“Geneva 2020 has made significant, measurable advancements to support the youth of our community from early childhood through high school graduation,” says HWS President Mark D. Gearan. “Together, our efforts in Geneva schools are emblematic of what can be achieved when a community works together and aligns itself around a common cause.”

Geneva 2020, which was founded on the collective impact model, is an initiative that brings together all facets of the community, including for-profits, non-profits, faith communities and others to ensure students have the skills they need to graduate from high school and effectively pursue college degrees and careers. Hobart and William Smith serve as the anchor organization.

“Over these past six years, we’ve seen tremendous growth,” says Amy Jackson Sellers, the Geneva 2020 program coordinator. “There are more and more organizations, businesses and individuals in Geneva coming together to support our youth, understanding our challenges and celebrating our successes. This convening allows the Geneva community stakeholders to demonstrate our commitment to supporting Geneva’s youth.”

In an effort to build a sustainable future for Geneva 2020, the initiative also partnered with the StriveTogether Cradle to Career Network and SUNY’s Cradle to Career Alliance, both of which have provided Geneva 2020 with important resources, support and guidance. The William G. McGowan Charitable Fund, a Chicago-based philanthropic family foundation, has been instrumental for Geneva students as well, providing funding to advance the initiative.

After being inspired by StriveTogether’s impact in Cincinnati, Ohio, Gearan convened a group of community leaders in 2011 to establish Geneva 2020. Cincinnati’s story was featured in the Stanford Social Innovation’s “Collective Article” and helped guide the effort in Geneva.

To attend the Geneva 2020 Update or to learn more about how you can assist Geneva 2020 efforts, contact Sellers at (315) 781-3825, or sellers@hws.edu.