Dr. Fuller Keynotes ACE Community Leadership Luncheon

ACE Scholarships was honored to host Dr. Howard Fuller for a Community Leadership Luncheon in downtown Denver yesterday, with two hundred community leaders. Fuller, a Distinguished Professor of Education at Marquette University, and chair and co-founder of the Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO), is a passionate and dedicated national advocate for our country’s poorest children.


Asked why, after all these years, he continues to do this work Dr. Fuller called upon history for his answer:

“We must save as many children as we can”, Fuller said. “It’s like what Harriet Tubman faced in the 1850’s. She fought to end slavery, and ran the Underground Railroad to smuggle slaves out. She understood that she needed to save as many as she could until slavery was ended.”
Dr. Fuller understands that systemic change of our nation’s public educational systems takes time, and so while that important work is ongoing, we must save as many lives as we can now.
Talk about perspective! Can there be a higher calling today?
Dr. Fuller heard this call early in his life and has dedicated his entire professional career to the service of children, working tirelessly to provide every child with access to a great school.
In the early 1990’s, Dr. Fuller served as the superintendent of the Milwaukee Public School District, and spearheaded the first publicly-funded school voucher program in the nation.

CJ---Web.jpg  Polly---Web-(1).jpg Fuller-2---Web.jpg

Joining Dr. Fuller at the podium was Charles Johnson, a member of the ACE Board of Directors and Assistant Athletic Director for CU-Boulder; Polly Baca, a founding board member for ACE Scholarships and a former Colorado State Senator; and James Coleman, ACE Director of Programs and Community Outreach.

Former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb was in attendance, along with members of the esteemed luncheon Host Committee:

  • Polly Baca, Former State Senator
  • Albus Brooks, Denver City Council
  • David Card, Escuela de Guadalupe
  • Sister Alicia Cuaron, Centro San Juan Diego
  • Peter Droege, The Daniels Fund
  • Ryan Frazier, Aurora City Council
  • Fernando Sergio Ferrufino, KBNO Radio
  • Zee Ferrufino, KBNO Radio
  • Vernard Gant, Association of Christian Schools International
  • Nita Gonzales, Escuela Tlatelolco
  • Charles Johnson, University of Colorado
  • Van Lucero, Boy Scouts of America
  • Adriana Muro, KDEN Telemundo Colorado
  • Mike Perez, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Denver
  • Bishop Phillip Porter, Bishop Porter Ministries
  • Jose Sanchez, Metro State College
  • Michael Sapp, Office of Mayor Michael B. Hancock
  • Laura Sonderoup, Heinrich Marketing
  • Landri Taylor, Urban League of Metro Denver

Alex Cranberg speak at Philanthropy Roundtable Oct 28th, Phoenician, Scottsdale, AZ

Alex Cranberg  - Philanthropy Roundtable

See Alex Cranberg speak at the Friday, October 28  3:30 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.  Afternoon Breakout Sessions

What Sparked the School Choice Resurgence of 2011?

Surprise! 2011 has been a monumental year for education reform. This year alone, 36 states have either passed or are considering comprehensive legislation on school vouchers, tax credits, and other education reform measures. Of these, 12 states and the District of Columbia have implemented reforms to expand or create school choice programs. What accounts for this sheer volume of school-funding reform activity? And what role did philanthropy play? While some have said the reforms were a byproduct of the 2010 elections, others have pointed to the dramatic shift in strategy away from white papers and editorials and towards public awareness-building and sophisticated political advocacy. At this session, speakers from three states that exemplify the resurgence—Colorado, Arizona, and Indiana—will explain how they turned things around. What are the lessons for donors who want to advance school choice reforms in their states? Where did reforms fail, and what can we learn from these failures? As the school choice movement moves forward, how can it maintain momentum and guard its victories as it evolves and matures?

Alex meeting with Youth Directions

Alex Cranberg meeting with Youth Directions

Alex Cranberg meeting with Youth Directions

ACE – A New Decade – By Alex Cranberg

Alliance For Choice In Education

Alliance For Choice In Education

Ten years ago I joined Charlie Gallagher, Ed McVaney, Ralph Nagel, John Saeman, and the late John Walton to form the Alliance for Choice in Education out of a concern for the quality of education being offered to Colorado’s low-income communities, particularly in our inner cities.

The current system allows too many children to fall through the cracks, and ACE was formed to provide immediate alternatives to children trapped in failing schools. But beyond helping individual children, ACE also exerts pressure on the entire system to reform. This two-pronged strategy is needed to achieve our vision of a quality education for every child.

While our gains over the past ten years have been significant-consistently higher graduation rates, higher ACT scores, higher college acceptance rates, more satisfied parents and better prepared children for the increasingly competitive job market they will enter-we have yet to make our vision a reality for all children.

For too many children the dream of a safe, structured and challenging school remains out of reach; over the past decade we have been forced to turn away over 5,000 needy children over the last ten years due to a lack of funds, and thousands more are trapped in inner-city public schools that are failing to meet their needs. Last year alone, more than 8,000 Colorado low-income students failed to graduate from high school.

But there is hope-in Colorado private schools today there are close to 15,000 empty seats. Just think of the impact we can have if we provide an alternative to every low-income dropout in Colorado. Ultimately that’s our goal.

Now, a decade in, we are seeing the impact that ACE is having in the lives of our alumni. It is gratifying to know that as we help hundreds of children each year gain access to quality private schools, we also play an integral role in the larger solution of education reform.

I am more encouraged today than ever before to continue leveling the playing field for at-risk children through privately funded scholarships and applying pressure on the system to reform. It is working, and I am grateful for your support as we start a new decade of providing educational choice to those who need it most.

Alex Cranberg

Alex Cranberg

Alex Cranberg, ACE Founder

Middle- and high-income families have educational choices: they can either move to school districts with successful public schools, or pay private school tuition. However, low-income families have no such options.

The Alliance for Choice in Education (ACE) is a Denver-based 501(c)(3) non-profit founded in 2000 to provide low-income families with the power and freedom of genuine educational choice through privately funded K-12 scholarships, college-prep and education advocacy.

ACE believes that every child – regardless of Zip Code or family income – is of equal worth and is equally deserving of a quality education, and that providing every child with educational choice will promote an accountable and competitive education marketplace that fosters effective private and public schools.

Through its strategic objectives, ACE seeks to:

  • Equip at-risk children with a quality private school education, preparing them to become successful, contributing members of society,
  • Empower parents with educational choice so they may have access to the private school that is right for their child,
  • Encourage educational competition through the infusion of private capital into private schools,
  • Enhance performance in the public system through the promotion of an accountable and competitive education marketplace,
  • Enable school choice advocates through education reform leadership in Colorado,
  • Engage a network of concerned citizens and organizations to support the private school community, and infuse competition into the system to improve the quality of our entire education system, and
  • Educate the public about the power and potential of private school choice.

Now in its tenth year, ACE has amassed an impressive record:

  • More than 6,000 scholarships provided to needy children
  • Total scholarship commitments exceeding $12 million
  • Over $15 million in overall funding, including advocacy and support of other innovative education programs
  • A working relationship with more than 200 partner private schools

All ACE families qualify for the Federal Free & Reduced lunch program. The average family income for ACE scholarship recipients is approximately $25,000 annually and the average family size is four. And yet these families provide 50% of their child’s tuition, with an average tuition obligation of $3,800 a year because they understand the transformational power of a quality education.

ACE Scholarships is entering its second decade of leveling the playing field for Colorado’s low-income children and we’re celebrating by hosting former Chancellor of Washington, D.C. schools Michelle Rhee for a special luncheon on May 26, 2011.

Drawing from her vast experience in education reform, Michelle Rhee will share her views on the state of education in America, what reforms we must implement to fix our failing schools, and how our failure to act will impact our country’s global competitiveness and future viability as a leader of the free world. This is a unique opportunity to be with one of our nation’s most recognized reformers as she describes what she believes must be done to once again make America’s education system the envy of the world.


Hope Online Learning Academy Co-Op

Hope Online Learning Academy Co-Op

Hope Online Learning Academy Co-Op is the only public school that provides Colorado students with an online education which includes individualized learning plans paired with in-person support from experienced mentors.

Mission: Provide a comprehensive and quality k-12 education for all students, based on proven methods of differentiated instruction in a safe, flexible, non-threatening and adult-supported environment. Through instructional innovation and strong commitment to child-centered education, Hope Online will advance academic achievement, character building, leadership and enhanced life skills in all its students.

To learn more, visit


San Pedro Columbia R.C. School Belize

San Pedro Columbia R.C. School Belize

The executive director and president of CHx, Alex Cranberg, is committed to education; CHx is committed to Belize.  So together they decided to offer online education in one community, the San Pedro Columbia R.C. School and give the students a chance to have in having extra tools while studying.

The San Pedro Columbia R.C. School has benefited from an online education program that assisted the students in preparing for the Primary School Examination.  Last year, CHx contracted the services of Foundation for Academic Innovation, a U.S. non profit organization that works in partnership with U.S. corporations to improve the education of the world’s population.

“We think this is a great technology, it’s a great approach. Kids love to work and learn around computers and televisions and part of what our commitment is wherever we are active is to help the education process. We think that education is the key to growth and learning and the creed to prosperity.”


Shining Stars Foundation - Bringing Hope to Children with Cancer and Life Threatening Diseases

Shining Stars Foundation - Bringing Hope to Children with Cancer and Life Threatening Diseases

The Mission of the Shining Stars Foundation is to provide sport, recreational, cultural, and outreach programs for children and young adults with cancer and life threatening diseases at no cost to the child or their family. In order to accomplish our mission, the Shining Stars Foundation has established the following goals:

For more info see

“We would like to sincerely thank you for you contributions to the Shining Stars Foundations.  You are truly a generous individual who has offered more to these children than anyone could ask for. I’m sure you can imagine how much your aircraft provision has meant.

Katrina Pokrywka, X Jet

Shining Stars Foundation Children with X Jet

Shining Stars Foundation Children with X Jet


Posted March 25, 2011 by Marshall

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