Growing up in poverty, Dr. Steve Perry lives by the credo that success in life is determined where you end, not where you start. This simple philosophy has inspired him since early in his career to change the lives of poor and minority children with access to receiving a college education. His passion to bring new ideas and desire to children of all walks of life no matter what their socioeconomic or academic background has become infectious. Dr. Perry was born into his family’s third generation of poverty to his 16 year old mother. However Perry would not let something like that stop him from achieving his goals. Dr. Perry started out as the director of a grassroots organization in Chester, PA before receiving a full scholarship at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Work. He also ran a homeless shelter in his hometown of Middletown all the while becoming a candidate for state representative and publishing his first book. A very impressive resume indeed all achieved before the age of 30.
1998 was a banner year for Dr. Steve Perry as he founded ConnCAP, the Connecticut Collegiate Awareness Program at Capital Community College. The program was designed to send 100% of its low-income first generation graduates to four-year colleges for six years. By 2004 Capital Prep school as born and since it opened its door they have sent 100% of their graduates to four year colleges for three consecutive years. Perry’s courage to start his public school (middle and high school) in the state’s lowest performing district of Hartford seemed to be an insurmountable task. Fighting the odds, Capital Prep has gone on to become one of the country’s most successful public schools. U.S. News & World Report recognized the Capital Preparatory Magnet School as one of America’s Best High Schools. Dr. Perry was even featured on CNN’s documentary Black in America as being one of the key solutions to solving the education gap in Black America.
Besides his amazing civic accomplishments, Dr. Perry is a highly sought after public speaker that has appeared on over 200 radio and television stations in the past three years alone. He is also the CNN Education Contributor and an Essence Best Selling author with his book “Man Up! Nobody is Coming to Save Us.” The book is an introspective look at the Black community through Perry’s eyes and what it must do to save itself. A truly groundbreaking book, “Man Up” publicly calls out organizations like the NAACP and the Black church to civic leaders like Michael Eric Dyson and Cornel West about their role in the obstruction of the positive growth of the community. Dr. Perry is a strong advocate of taking personal responsibility in all aspects of life. His highly sought after public speaking emphasizes the social issues that target building up both the individual and the community so that the next generation can be more productive members of society.