The Gesu School celebrated its 2017 graduation on June 7. The Gesu School is Philadelphia's first independent Catholic elementary school, serving 450 mostly non-Catholic children in grades pre-K through eight. Its goal has been to provide a quality education for its neighborhood children, hoping to guide and empower them to break the cycle of poverty and violence. Gesu has been recognized as a national model for inner-city education; 90 percent of Gesu alumni graduate from high school on time, and 86 percent go on to college or postsecondary school. More than 300 attended the ceremony, at which 44 diplomas were given out.
—Maggie Henry Corcoran