Now entering its 20th year on the campus of the University of California San Diego, The Preuss School has transformed the lives of more than 1,500 local students. The charter middle and high school was created for low-income students who strive to become the first in their families to graduate from college. Today, nearly all Preuss graduates go on to higher education—attending schools including Harvard, Yale, Stanford and UC San Diego.
The Preuss School will celebrate this milestone year at its annual benefit, the Preuss Promise, on April 20. The event will celebrate 20 years of academic achievement and excellence, in addition to raising funds for the school to continue to make an impact on future generations of students.
“Support from this annual event helps The Preuss School advance its mission to serve youth from underrepresented communities and ultimately, to transform lives,” said Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “The unwavering dedication of the school’s founders, supporters, mentors and teachers for the past two decades has led to unparalleled achievements for The Preuss School and our students.”
Preuss is consistently recognized among the best high schools in the U.S. It has been named the nation’s most transformative high school by Newsweek three years in a row. Preuss graduates are accepted to four-year colleges and universities at a rate of more than 90 percent, and almost 100 percent go on to some form of higher education.
“As we celebrate this milestone, we are pleased to recognize the visionaries who launched the school, as well as those who have sustained The Preuss School with their ongoing support over the last 20 years,” said Preuss School Principal Scott Barton. “It is their support that has allowed us to have such a positive impact on more than 1,500 students and their families, with many more generations to come.”
This year’s speaker will be Jacqueline Kennedy, a member of The Preuss School’s first graduating class in 2004. Kennedy went on to attend UC San Diego, where she was involved in student life and committed to community service. She later cultivated her love for community as an intern at the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation, a nonprofit organization in Southeast San Diego. She went on to earn her master’s degree in Nonprofit Management and Policy at New York University’s Wagner School of Public Service. Today, she serves as director of Community Partnerships at the newly formed Center for Health Equity within the New York City Department of Health. She works to engage New York City neighborhoods with specific emphasis on racial and social justice.
Kennedy recalls the feeling when she started at The Preuss School as a member of its inaugural class. “A school like Preuss hadn’t existed before, so there was a lot of pressure on us, on everyone, because we were all still figuring things out,” said Kennedy. “It’s remarkable to look back now and see the success of the school 20 years later.”
Matthew F. Weil is serving as this year’s event chair. Peggy and Peter G. Preuss are honorary committee chairs. The honorary committee includes: K. Andrew Achterkirchen; Darcy and Bob Bingham; Mae Brown; Julia Brown; Amy Chiu; Maureen Dulbecco; Bob and Ann Dynes; Anne Evans; Walter Eckhart and Karen Lane; Celia Falicov and Peter Gourevitch; Peter and Olivia Farrell; Antonio Grillo-Lopez and Maria Grillo; Joan and Irwin Jacobs; Sheri Jamieson; Erica Pascal and Michael Hostetler; Erin and Peter J. Preuss; Sheryl and Bob Scarano; Christopher and Pat Weil and Svetlana Weil.
Event sponsors are Lockton; Littler; Anonymous; Northern Trust; Roth Capital Partners; Darcy and Bob Bingham; Cooley; Estancia La Jolla Hotel and Spa; Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla; and UC San Diego Extension.