Gesu Portal Button

Success Stories Blog Posts

Jamai '96: Committed to Community Development, Entrepreneurship, and Family

Jamai Robinson works seven days a week to bolster his community and pursue his professional goals. His volunteer work spans nearly two decades. He is a dedicated husband and father of three and mentor to many in his Newark, Delaware home and beyond.


“Gesu allowed me to start over. I went from potentially being in a local gang to going to a great middle and high school, which provided me the opportunity to go to college. Through God, my mom, my extended family and friends, and Gesu, I am now able to be a leader to my community. Gesu assisted in changing a negative legacy to a positive one for my children.”

Lauren '12: Temple University Junior Shares Gesu's Impact

As a 4th grader, Lauren Robinson ’12 sang at the first Gesu Gala. In 2018, she returned to the event to address an audience of more than 300 as a strong, poised college student. Read excerpts from her inspiring speech on how Gesu helped her map a bright future. 

To forge success, you must have the right tools. Gesu gave me those tools with which I have forged my path.
I am studying advertising with a concentration in art direction. I hope to use my degree to add diversity to the advertisements that we are shown every day. I also hope to do freelance work for a non-profit. I did not always have these ambitions or the skills to reach my goals. It took a lot of hard work to map out my path to a bright future. Gesu was a landmark, a beacon on that map, which gave me the skills to succeed on my journey.

Alumna Poised for College and Career in Physical Therapy

2013 graduate earns scholarships to undergraduate and doctoral program.

Dama Colbert-Brinkley, Class of 2013, exudes quiet humility and a fierce sense of self-direction. Her formula for success? Challenging herself, asserting her leadership skills, and serving her communities.

Dama attests that Gesu helped her become the person she is—outgoing, altruistic, and ambitious. She began at Gesu in Kindergarten, carrying on a family legacy that spans generations.

Academic Success and Ambition

Alum Creates Positive Change Through Art

2005 Gesu graduate succeeds in media studies and career.

Saeed Briscoe, Gesu Class of 2005, balances his studies at Temple University with managing his own business and serving his community. Although still in college, he has developed his own brand, SaeedsVP—photography, film, graphic design, and apparel. Briscoe owes his creativity to his Mom. He owes his strong work ethic and character to his Dad. And he owes his “ability to balance all of this” to Gesu School.

Alumna Achieves in the Sciences

2007 graduate harnesses Gesu education for a career in nutrition and dietetics.

Kareemah Parker, Gesu Class of 2007, identifies a challenge, sets a goal, and conquers it.

A self-identified “go getter,” she has capitalized on her Gesu School education to chart a career in nutrition and dietetics: “Gesu was my foundation. It got me interested in my education. In this neighborhood, all kids don’t have an opportunity to go to a school like this. I tell other kids from Gesu that your education is something to take seriously. And value it.” 

Seventh grader achieves rank of Eagle Scout

"Never quit."

That's the Gesu lesson 7th grader Jordan carried with him on his quest to earn the honor of Eagle Scout, the highest rank that the Boy Scouts offers. Only 3 to 4 percent of Boy Scout members ever obtain this prestigious honor.

In January, Jordan, 13, became the youngest Eagle Scout in Troop 358’s history and one of the youngest African Americans in the country to achieve more than the 21 merit badges required to receive the Eagle Scout award. For his final project Jordan restored the historical sidewalk on Johnson Street in Mt. Airy for the historical landmark Cliveden.

Congratulations to Jordon on this tremendous acheivement. We are immensely proud of the person Jordan has become since starting at Gesu School in pre-K. 

Kimberly's path to success

Thanks to generous supporters and people like you, we’ve been able to transform the lives of Philadelphia children with a top-notch education.

Children like Kimberly. She was our student council president in her 8th grade year.

But life didn’t start out like that for Kimberly…

Vacant lots and dilapidated houses litter the neighborhood where Kimberly grew up. At her local elementary school, three out of four children can’t read or do math at their grade level. It’s not an environment that instills hope.

Follow the Dream Tour returns to roots

 “Mr. Ratliff [Gesu's music teacher] always said, ‘Keep a song in your heart.’  I did.  And here I am.” –Jovon Newman, Class of 2005

Jovon “J” Newman clearly had a song in his heart on February 28th when he and Quintin “Q” Richardson— together known as JQ—performed at Gesu School as part of their Follow the Dream tour. The American R&B/Pop duo are men on a mission.

After discovering each other at a University of Delaware talent show audition in 2009, Newman and Richardson joined forces on a number of initiatives, including the release of their debut album “Anticipation.” But it was Richardson’s high school principal who helped them discover their purpose.

The fruits of a faith-based education: blazing the way with ACE*SJU.

Three Gesu alumni graduated from Saint Joseph’s University with their M.Ed.’s in May as members of the first cohort of the new ACE*SJU program. Leya Egea-Hinton, Desmond Shannon, and Shakeeta Parker were among the fourteen recent college grads blazing the way in the new program that serves inner-city students in Philadelphia. Saint Joseph’s University and the University of Pennsylvania launched the program, known as ACE*SJU, in the summer of 2010. Modeled after the University of Notre Dame’s successful Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) program, ACE*SJU is designed to train and cultivate teachers for Catholic schools that serve low-income populations. Candidates completed coursework for their master’s degrees in education over two years while teaching at Catholic schools in Philadelphia, including Gesu School.

Bria '09 pursues promised scholarship, reveals secret behind the power of coffee beans.

Today Bria ’09, a freshman at Saint Joseph’s University, is poised to change the world. A thoughtful, articulate young lady, Bria blossomed at Gesu School thanks to the support of people like you.

Teachers remember Bria as a leader whom other students respected. When she had something to say, people listened. In fact, Bria landed at Saint Joseph’s University for that very reason.

As a 3rd grader at Gesu School, Bria delivered a speech about diversity and culture that caught the attention of Saint Joseph’s University’s president. He offered her a full tuition scholarship to the university on the spot.

All Bria had to do was get there—no small feat for a child growing up in North Philadelphia.