The Bryan Allen Stevenson School of Excellence, scheduled to open in fall 2022, is a Georgetown-based, tuition-free public charter high school focused on service learning.
BASSE representatives are thrilled to announce a $10,000 grant from Delmarva Power – an Exelon company – as the lead corporate gift in the school’s capital campaign. BASSE is partnering with the Richard Allen School Coalition, where BASSE will be housed for its initial years. The Delmarva Power grant is an important foundation of support; BASSE is raising $5 million for the first phase of its campaign.
“We are thrilled to receive this tremendous support and confidence in our vision from Delmarva Power and hope it will encourage others in our community to help lay the foundation of needed support for students,” said Alonna Berry, founder and co-chair of BASSE.
The Richard Allen School holds a unique place in the history of public education in Delaware; the school opened in 1925 to educate local African American children. The coalition was formed to save the school building and grounds for the future to develop as a cultural center. The partnership between BASSE and RASC will establish a location for BASSE within the Richard Allen School in its beginning years and improve the space for the Richard Allen School for future opportunities to advance the mission and goals of both organizations. Delmarva Power is proud to support such a meaningful project.
“At Delmarva Power, our primary focus is on strengthening STEM education. The Bryan Allen Stevenson School of Excellence will help to develop students in Sussex County, Delaware, who will understand their place in the world through a service-learning curriculum. Our future as a company and society depends on educating youth who will inherit the future. We applaud the visionaries of this school and their commitment to encouraging students in Sussex County to learn, explore, and grow,” said John J. Allen Jr., Delmarva region VP, manager of Government and External Affairs. The charitable grants program at Delmarva Power invests thousands of dollars each year in communities it serves to support education, the environment, arts, culture, community, and neighborhood development programs.
BASSE is named in honor of Bryan Stevenson, a prolific social justice activist and lawyer from Milton. Stevenson is the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Ala. He and his staff have won reversals, relief, or release for more than 125 wrongly condemned prisoners on death row. They have helped initiate major new anti-poverty and anti-discrimination efforts that challenge the legacy of racial inequality in America, including projects to educate communities about slavery, lynching, and racial segregation. Stevenson is also a professor of law at the New York University School of Law and is the author of the critically acclaimed New York Times bestseller, “Just Mercy.” He was portrayed by Michael B. Jordan in the 2019 feature film, “Just Mercy,” with James Foxx.
Stevenson and his family want to ensure that a free public school is available in Sussex County that will provide countless opportunities for students to learn through a community-focused, service-learning lens and academic rigor.
“BASSE will partner with nonprofit organizations, hospitals, doctor’s offices, and other entities that will allow students to have real, hands-on work experience,” said Berry. That work and service experience will bring students knowledge of their community needs and challenges, helping them to innovate in those spaces hopefully. BASSE will offer students a unique chance to explore, achieve, and create impact at school and in their community.
BASSE is a part of the Proximate Network and is a 501c(3) public charity. BASSE’s mission is to honor the history of the Sussex County community by building rigorous academic pathways to greatness for students. It provides unique learning experiences where high-performing educators create an environment for students to explore self, community, and the world.
“Knowing what I know about the people who have come before me and the people who came before them, and what they had to do, it changes my capacity to stay encouraged, to stay productive.” – Bryan Allen Stevenson.