Dr. Steve Perry to Speak at Ashford University's October Graduation Ceremonies

Author and CNN Contributor to be Keynote Speaker at Fall Event

Dr. Steve Perry, author and CNN contributor, has been chosen as the keynote speaker for Ashford University’s three graduation ceremonies on Saturday, Oct. 16. This is the first time in Ashford’s history that fall graduation ceremonies will be held. The ceremonies are planned for 9 a.m., noon and 3 p.m. in Kehl Arena in the Durgin Educational Center. Seating is limited and admission to the graduation events will be by ticket only.  

Perry’s commitment and success have earned him several state and regional awards for causes ranging from promoting educational access to low-income students to fighting all forms of sexual violence. He has been a candidate for state representative and an adjunct professor, while at the same time serving on a number of local boards. 

His career has taken him from directing a grassroots organization in Chester, PA to a full scholarship at the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Work, back to his hometown of Middletown where he ran a homeless shelter, became a candidate for state Representative, and published his first of four books. Then he turned 26.

Born into his family’s third generation of poverty on his mother’s 16th birthday, Perry believes that a life’s success is determined by where you end, not where you start.  It is this philosophy that inspired him to transform the lives of poor and minority children by providing them with access to a college education.

In 1998 Perry founded ConnCAP, the Connecticut Collegiate Awareness Program, at Capital Community College.  For six years, the program sent 100% of its low-income first generation graduates to four-year colleges. Then, in 2004, Capital Prep was born and for three consecutive years it too sent 100% of its graduates to four-year colleges. Perry forged a path into starting a public middle and high school in the state’s lowest performing district.  Today, Capital Prep has become one of the nation’s most successful public middle/high schools.

The Capital Preparatory Magnet School has been recognized by the Hartford Courant and US News & World Reports as one of America’s Best High Schools.  This summer, Perry was featured on CNN’s documentary “Black in America” as one of black America’s solutions to solving the education gap.

A regular contributor on education issues for CNN, MSNBC and Fox, Perry has appeared on more than 200 radio and television stations in the past three years.  His book “Man Up! Nobody is Coming to Save Us” is a best seller. His fourth book, “Raggedy Schools The Untold Truth,” is a compelling and, at times, scathing look at urban public education. In it he challenges teachers’ unions, parents, students, urban radio and the crumbling institution of marriage within the black community.