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Together for Education

When Julie Geisen Scheper and Chuck Scheper talk about proud moments in their lives, both mention children. Chuck also cites statistics.
 Chuck Scheper and Julie Geisen Scheper with second graders at John G. Carlisle Elementary in Covington. Chuck and Julie are GCF donors.
Chuck Scheper and Julie Geisen Scheper with second graders at John G. Carlisle Elementary in Covington. Chuck and Julie are GCF donors.
When Julie Geisen Scheper and Chuck Scheper talk about proud moments in their lives, both mention children. Chuck also cites statistics.

The couple mentored a brother and sister through Covington Partners, an agency providing support services to students in Covington Independent Public Schools. It also works with partner organizations, board members, families, and volunteers to help Covington youth achieve success in every phase of life.

That’s exactly what the Schepers have been doing. Julie, on the board of both Covington Partners and Covington schools, began working with her student in the eighth grade. The student is now a college graduate and still meets with Julie on a regular basis. 

“My mentee is the first person in her family to graduate from college, and to see her walk across the stage was one of the proudest moments of my life,” Julie said. “Now she is working, pursuing further education, and volunteering. She’s on the pathway to a happy and successful life.”

Chuck’s proud moment was when his mentee studied hard to raise an ACT score from 20 to 26, qualifying him for a scholarship. This young man now attends Northern Kentucky University.

As for statistics, Chuck points out the measurable changes the school district and Covington Partners have made for students. 

One of the elementary schools is in the 99th academic percentile in the state. In 2013-2014, family engagement in the district increased from 55 to 71 percent and the percentage of 10th grade students who have not used tobacco in 30 days increased from 81 to 88 percent. The percentage of students with an unhealthy body mass index decreased from 37 to 31 percent.

“I’m an analytic, so when I started seeing some of the results of what was happening I got really excited,” he said. “The benefits are starting to materialize and change the lives of students. As a funder, that’s what you want to see. You want to see results. You don’t just want to write a check and feel good about it. You want to see improvement.”

The long-time Covington residents stress that being mentors has been a gift to them and appreciate that they’ve been included in family milestones such as graduation and preparing for college.

“The students’ mother has been able to give us some parent-like experiences, like freshman orientation,” Julie said. “It was wonderful.” 

Chuck retired from Great American Insurance Group, and Julie from social work. They are so busy with charitable work, including Chuck being on the governing board of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation, that he calls it a “rewirement.” 

Covington and its students hold a special place in their hearts.

“These are our future leaders, workers, and neighbors,” said Julie. “The future of our region depends on the success of these young people and we want to try to help make it happen.”



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