Charter School Students, Teacher Present Personal Stories of Empowerment at NCSC

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Current and Former Charter School Students Examine College Access, Gun Violence;Teacher Explores Impacts of DACA on Charter School Community


As the public charter school community gathers in Austin, Texas, attendees will hear from voices that are not often amplified – the voices of students and teachers. 

Raven Osbourne, a graduate of the 21st Century Charter School in Gary, Ind., earned her bachelor's degree while in high school, two weeks before earning her high school diploma. She began taking community college classes in 9th grade and, after two years, transferred to Purdue University’s Northwest campus. Raven, a straight-A student and Class of 2017 valedictorian, did this without taking on any debt thanks to her public charter school and is now fully employed as a reading interventionist at her alma mater.

Maria Rocha is a third-grade teacher at KIPP Esperanza in San Antonio, Texas, who was able to earn her teaching credentials thanks to DACA. She is a leader is the classroom and is pursuing her Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from The University of Texas at San Antonio.

Finally, attendees will hear from Zion Kelly, a recent charter school graduate who made headlines in March when he engrossed hundreds of thousands at the March for Our Lives rally in Washington, D.C. Zion shared his story after his twin brother, Zaire, was the victim of gun violence last September. He is now an outspoken student activist determined to end gun violence.

These three speakers embody the theme of this year’s conference as they empower themselves and others to dream big to create lasting, meaningful change.

WHAT:      Teacher, students speak out on social issues at 2018 National Charter Schools Conference.

WHEN:      Monday, June 18, 201
                  9:40am – 10:00am CT

WHERE:   Austin Convention Center, Grand Ballroom, Level 4
                 Link to Facebook Livestream: 

WHO:       Raven Osbourne, Reading Interventionist and former student, 21st Century Charter School  (Gary, Indiana)

                 Maria Rocha, Teacher, KIPP Esperanza Dual Language Academy (San Antonio, Texas)

                 Zion Kelly, Student, Thurgood Marshall Academy Public Charter School (Washington, DC)


About Public Charter Schools 
Public charter schools are independent, public, and tuition-free schools that are given the freedom to be more innovative while being held accountable for advancing student achievement. Since 2010, many research studies have found that students in charter schools do better in school than their traditional school peers. For example, one study by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes at Stanford University found that charter schools do a better job teaching low income students, minority students, and students who are still learning English than traditional schools. Separate studies by the Center on Reinventing Public Education and Mathematica Policy Research have found that charter school students are more likely to graduate from high school, go on to college, stay in college and have higher earnings in early adulthood.

About the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools
The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools is the leading national nonprofit organization committed to advancing the public charter school movement. Our mission is to lead public education to unprecedented levels of academic achievement by fostering a strong charter sector. For more information, please visit