A Real Chance to Prosper Event Recap

Georgia Center for Opportunity’s annual fundraiser, a Real Chance to Prosper, on December 4th was a great success. It brought together around 200 people at the newly opened College Football Hall of Fame for a night celebrating the legacy of the late Jack Kemp and raising important funds for GCO’s work.

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The event provided guests an opportunity to tour the College Football Hall of Fame including many interactive exhibits. During the reception, Jeff and Jimmy Kemp shared stories about their dad and gave insight into the kind of father, football player, and political figure he was.

There were several great items auctioned off throughout the evening from both a live and a silent auction, including a premier cruise excursion, a Peyton Manning signed jersey, an Al Pacino “The Godfather” signed shadowbox, and platinum tickets to the BB&T Atlanta Tennis Open. All donations from the night are used to support our mission to remove barriers to opportunity and ultimately help more Georgians achieve a better life.

Jack Kemp’s beliefs that we must reach every heart and ensure all individuals have the opportunity to reach their God-given potential are ones that we hold dear at GCO. That’s why we’re involved in the work of removing barriers to opportunity by promoting strong families, access to quality education, and steady employment, and why we’re so grateful for the sponsors, attendees, and volunteers who helped make this event a success.

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If you would like to support GCO’s important work, we invite you to make a gift now.

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Sajan George Schools Local Leaders on Education Turnarounds

Over the past year, Georgia Center for Opportunity has hosted a series of luncheons aimed at encouraging local educators and business leaders to think outside of the traditional education reform box. Past keynote speakers have shared ways educators can work within their schools to become “cage-busting” leaders, and how business professionals can form coalitions to support quality education.


In this same vein, GCO recently had the pleasure to host Sajan George, the founder and CEO of Matchbook Learning. Sajan not only introduced the unique Matchbook blended-learning model, but he also shared ways his “turnaround” methodology can be applied to even the most underperforming schools in Georgia.

What is different about Matchbook Learning?

For students at a Matchbook school, grades are virtually irrelevant. Instead, the emphasis is placed on instructional levels of learning. Rather than go through curriculums associated with the grade they are in (i.e., 3rd grade), students begin lessons based on their skill level, which may be higher or lower than the actual grade they are in (e.g., they may be at a 1st or 4th grade level). Students advance from their individual starting points based on their ability to master a skill at a pace that is independent of other students’ progress in the classroom. This concept is commonly referred to as competency-based education.

By using online learning platforms, Matchbook Learning has created a revolutionary learning system that does not just treat the symptoms of failing schools, but addresses the root cause of failure. Far too often schools focus on one-size-fits all instruction and traditional seat-time to improve student outcomes. However, what is truly needed is the ability to customize learning paths to meet students where they are. This system has already proven its ability to propel struggling students to new heights academically by not overwhelming them with instruction far beyond their ability and by allowing them to progress at their own pace.

What is special about Matchbook Learning is that is does not just give struggling students the autonomy to work independently, it also frees up teachers to work with students on a more engaged level.  Through the online platform, teachers always know where their students are in their learning and can arrange their classes with ease to provide more help to students who need it.

Matchbook has already scaled turnaround success in classrooms, schools, and school systems in places like Detroit, MI and Newark, NJ.


Can the Matchbook model turnaround Georgia?

To apply these turnaround methods in Georgia, Sajan noted that a more innovative vision of education is needed across the state. One possible starting point, however, could be Gov. Deal’s proposed recovery schools districts. Looking to the Matchbook Learning system as a best practice for these would-be state charter schools could provide the much needed guidance to transform low-performing schools into student-centered learning environments.

Through collaboration with innovators such as Sajan George, Georgia Center for Opportunity continues to remove barriers to quality education by promoting solutions that have been proven to work. Considering models like that of Matchbook Learning are a much needed step in the right direction for giving Georgia a real chance to prosper.

Fundraiser special guests: Jeff and Jimmy Kemp

GCO is thrilled to have Jeff and Jimmy Kemp join us at our annual fundraiser on December 4, 2014 at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta. Jeff and Jimmy will be with us to share recollections of their father, the late Jack Kemp, and discuss why his legacy matters today. We will also show how GCO is working each and every day to make Georgia a state where ALL have a real chance to prosper. We look forward to you joining us on December 4, 2014. Register to Attend.


I believe the ultimate imperative for growth and opportunity is to advance human dignity. – Jack Kemp



Jeff Kemp is a quarterback for the family. He is an Ivy League graduate who played eleven seasons as a Quarterback in the National Football League with the Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco Forty-Niners, Seattle Seahawks and the Philadelphia Eagles. Today he is more passionate than ever about strengthening marriages and families and bringing groups and teams together for exciting results.

In 2012, Jeff joined FamilyLife as a Vice President and Catalyst for helping others strengthen families. FamilyLife, based in Little Rock, AR. is a national ministry leader in resources to build and enrich marriages and families along with radio outreach, marriage conferences and other resources to heal and strengthen families. Prior to joining FamilyLife, Jeff founded and led a dynamic organization, named Stronger Families, in the Pacific Northwest from 1993-2010.


James Kemp (Jimmy) is President of the Jack Kemp Foundation. He is responsible for the creation of the Foundation and secured the donation of his father’s papers to the Library of Congress.

Jimmy serves as a Director of Strategic Business Initiatives at Squire Patton Boggs LLP. He co-founded Kemp Partners, a strategic consulting firm based in Washington, DC, assisting Fortune 500 companies as well as burgeoning firms before Congress, the White House and several federal agencies. He is also an Executive Vice President at Group 47.

Jimmy spent eight seasons as a quarterback in the Canadian Football League, finishing his career in 2001 with the Toronto Argonauts. He also serves as Chairman of the Board for the Hope Community Charter School located in northeast Washington, DC. The school serves 735 pre-K through 8th grade students and has been operating since September 2005.

Breakthrough Ambassadors College Campus Tour

Visit Duke and UNC Chapel Hill on 11/23/14 – 11/24/14 with Breakthrough Ambassadors. The tour is open to parents and 10th – 12th grade high school students.

Check out this fantastic opportunity through Breakthrough Ambassadors to visit UNC Chapel Hill and Duke for an overnight stay! 10th, 11th, and 12th graders from any high school and parents are all invited – Come and join us. This is a chance that comes to very few, so take advantage of viewing two of the South’s best schools.

COST: $75/person (includes transportation & hotel)

WHEN: Sunday, November 23rd – Depart 7 a.m.
through Monday, November 24th (college visits & return home – around 10:00 p.m.)

HOW: 55 passenger Charter Bus

COLLEGES: Duke University & the University of North Carolina (UNC) Chapel Hill

Space is limited. First come, first served.

Any questions? Contact prhsbreakthrough@gmail.com


Register Now