Capital Partners for Education — 2020 Annual Report
Staying Connected Through Community

Letter from our CEO, Khari Brown

For many, this year has been all but “normal” as we’ve been navigating through an unprecedented amount of challenges as a community and as an organization. All that has transpired throughout the year has led CPE to develop the same skills of perseverance that our students have always had to practice – and like our students, we are meeting the challenges and will grow stronger in the future.

With COVID, the recession, and a reckoning over racial justice, 2020 has been a tough year for everyone: staff, schools, mentors, many of our donors, and for the public at-large. It has, however, been the toughest for our students as we continue to hear stories from those who have had to cut back on classes due to financial restraints, who have lost jobs, and who have had to take semesters off to find employment in order to help support their families.

CPE, with the support of our community, has worked tirelessly to respond to these challenges, knowing our students need us now more than ever. We’ve adjusted to the constraints stemming from the pandemic as we are now operating and delivering our program virtually. Thanks to the support of both longtime and new donors, we have so far been able to meet our 2020 fundraising goals, and we also continue to meet programming benchmarks that support our mission of seeing low-income students to and through college.

The effects of the pandemic will be with us for years to come, and CPE is preparing to continue to grow and meet the increased demands for mentoring. We are working on our next multi-year strategic plan to continue the expansion of our impact in our region. CPE has always relied upon a community of volunteers, institutional partnerships, and financial supporters; and we will need your continued help in responding to the call to action to change students’ outcomes.

We have all been challenged and stretched, but we’ve learned that we can persevere through a community of support to get to better days ahead of us.


When I think of CPE, I see a family that has helped me grow tremendously. I also see a community that wants me to become excellent in the career of my choice. By ‘excellent,’ I mean CPE wants me to go into the world and have a real impact on people the same way CPE has positively impacted me. Making a positive difference in the world is the definition of character-driven service.

Mamut Conteh, CPE College Student

Beginning for a new year starts with preparation and that is key to seeing low-income, first-generation students to and through college. They need access to opportunities and resources to support their success.

Two students look at a laptop screen

CPE college students have the opportunity to apply for internship stipends during the summer. This program allows students who secure low or unpaid internships to apply for funds to help cover expenses for housing, travel, and school while they’re interning.

Growing up as a first-generation, pre-medical student includes many new and unfamiliar experiences that I have to navigate. This internship gave me the opportunity to use my lessons, trials, and errors as advice for others who may look up to me.

Bianca Okhaifor
2020 graduate of UNC Greensboro
and 2019 internship stipend recipient

It is our belief that a community of support can help our students overcome challenges and improve their outcomes. Our community partners support us in our efforts to ensure that low-income students have the resources needed to succeed throughout their high school and college journey, and to thrive in their careers.

We partnered with Macy’s in September to hold a back-to-school backpack drive for our high school students. CPE was provided with over 100 backpacks for students to support their success for the 2019-2020 school year.

As the school year went on, we held SAT preparation classes, took high school students on college campus tours, conducted visits with both high school and college students, and collaborated with local corporations such as Clark Construction, Booz Allen Hamilton, and Bloomberg Government to hold career exploration events.

CPE high school students met with mentors and college program coordinators to work on college essays and applications, scholarships, and to learn more about financial aid.

Clark Construction and Bloomberg Government Career Exploration Events

My favorite part of the day was actually going inside of the half that is being renovated and witnessing the process and planning that takes place on construction sites in general.

CPE high school student

We celebrated our annual holiday party with students, their families, and staff.

Students seated at a holiday party
Mentors and students
Mentors and students
Mentors and students

Booz Allen Hamilton Career Exploration Event

I liked that they talked about college experiences and how they managed stress. I learned to keep trying when trying to reach out to people to make them recognize you.

Deovion, CPE high school student
Booz Allen Hamilton career event participants

Our Mocktails & Hors d’oeuvres Event

CPE held its semi-annual “Mocktails & Hors d’oeuvres” event for college students, and mentors. Members of the local chapter of Sigma Pi Phi, also known as the Boule, the oldest fraternity for professionally successful African-American men, sat on a panel to share their stories about their backgrounds, educations, and professional journeys.

Speed networking event

CPE high school students met with D.C. professionals during a Speed Networking event to discuss their interests and to begin to think about their future careers options.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, we could immediately see which members of our community would be the most affected.

Data continues to show the disproportionate impact that this crisis is having on communities of color. As of October 1, 2020, forty-six percent of the D.C. population identifies as either Black or African American, yet this community currently makes up fifty-one percent of positive cases and seventy-four percent of deaths. Twenty-eight percent of all cases are concentrated in Wards 7 and 8 where a significant number of CPE students reside.

A New York Times article accurately described today’s disparities of health flowing directly from yesterday’s disparities of wealth and opportunity.

We serve students who are often under-resourced and live in low-income areas. Our work is focused on putting them on a path of upward economic mobility. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have adjusted our approach to supporting our students, staff, mentors, and CPE community so that we can continue to carry out our mission of seeing students who need our services the most, to and through college.

We identified innovative ways to stay connected by increasing our virtual events, including holding monthly meetings with our mentor leadership council, high school student leadership council, and college student leadership council.

Mentor Town Hall

Because of COVID-19, mentoring has transitioned in a unique way. CPE provided a space to not only vent about mentoring in the virtual world, but additional resources. I appreciate the increase of virtual resources that my mentee and I can participate in as well as a space to hear about how COVID-19 has impacted other mentors.

Van Strother II
Community Town Hall with Councilmember Robert White

CareerWise Virtual Event

This interviewing event connected graduating college seniors with currently unmatched mentors working in the students’ desired career field to offer students additional insight into the workforce. Seven students were paired with a mentor to conduct a one-on-one virtual informational interview. The career fields ranged from crime scene investigation to research science among others. CPE provided students with a resource guide to help them through the process of reaching out and conducting these interviews.

I enjoyed speaking with Cynthia and listening to her journey since things have been pretty uncertain and scary due to the pandemic. She is super helpful and has agreed to be my mentor. I have already sent her my resume, transcript, and a recent cover letter for her to review. I am excited to continue to work with her and I am thankful for the opportunity CPE presented to me. She let me know to keep pushing and make sure I stay motivated and aware of the obstacles that will come my way and to be ready to overcome them to get to where I want to be.

Betsy, CPE college student


In spite of the challenges our students faced this year, 84% of our high school graduates enrolled in college.

They not only had to get through adjusting to learning and living through a pandemic, but also navigating through the trauma of racial injustice. The killing of George Floyd sparked national outrage, but it hit close to home for many of our students who live in areas that are over-policed and under-resourced. We see their faces and hear their names when the threat of racial injustice and inequality continue to surface online and in the news.

Government Funding Initiative

We embarked on a mission to engage with DC government officials to promote the inclusion of funding for mentoring academic middle high school students in the DC 2021 budget. Now more than ever, when students are isolated from their peers and community, it is essential to have one-on-one mentorship to show these students that a path forward is possible with additional social and emotional support.

$200,000 in funding was included in the DC 2021 budget for mentoring academic middle high school students. The provision in the budget is called the “Academic Middle Mentoring Initiative” and it was achieved through our extensive advocacy efforts.

Since June, CPE has refocused its programming to ensure that staff and mentors are able to meet students’ most immediate needs while allowing students to remain focused on their education.

This includes:

  • Prioritizing our response to emergency fund requests (EFRs). CPE’s EFRs traditionally offer funds to help families meet unanticipated academic expenses, which normally take the form of books, fees, or other supplies. In light of the pandemic, we expanded the range of needs that CPE is able to meet, and helped to cover costs of groceries, rent, and utilities for families in need. Of the $67,003 EFRs dispersed, $43,243 was allocated for COVID relief.
  • Expanding our virtual programming by developing an online platform that allows students and mentors to connect with one another and to complete assignments together.
  • Providing students with meaningful career development by piloting a virtual externship program with Bloomberg.
  • Creating safe spaces for CPE’s young men and women of color to hold important conversations. CPE hosted two separate panels hosted by program alumni Johnson Bademosi and Sarah Iddrissu to discuss the unique challenges faced by black and brown students in today’s society.

CPE’s COVID-19 Emergency Fund Request system has been a massive aid to me and my family during this pandemic. Like many people, my hours for my on-campus jobs were significantly restricted due to safety protocols, and my paychecks have suffered as a result. As I pay for groceries and living expenses here in Miami, this was not ideal during a national crisis. CPE, however, has filled that financial gap and ensured that I had and have all the resources necessary to carry on at college as well-prepared as possible. Much love and thanks to everyone at Capital Partners!

Reece, CPE college student

Our Results

  • 470 students served
  • 130 mentors recruited
  • 3 career exploration events
  • 5 college campus tours
  • 22 in-person and 24 virtual mentor trainings held
  • 23 events held inclusive of virtual town halls
  • 84% of high school seniors enrolled in college
  • 29 college graduates
  • 59% of college students held a job or internship
  • 90% of college students remained enrolled during the 2019-2020 school year
  • 60% of alumni have received their bachelor’s degree in 6 years
  • $67,003 emergency funds dispersed
  • $1,085,844 is the value of time donated by CPE mentors last school year based on a report by Independent Sector

Our Vision for the Future

CPE believes that students who come from low-income families can attain upward economic mobility. It’s the community of support they receive throughout their journey in high school, college, and beyond that helps them get there.

Staying connected through community is what has grounded and sustained us over the last 26 years, especially this year as we’ve endured the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and have had to examine institutional racism through the lens of our students, mentors, and staff.

Seventy-two percent of CPE students are Black and twenty-four percent are Latino. As we work to guide our students in becoming self-actualized, resilient leaders, we must also work to address the challenges they encounter as Black and Brown human beings. We’ll do this by increasing our voice about racial inequality to educate and engage our community about the issues our demographic of students encounter.


Financial chart

Board of Directors

Theodore A. Schwab
Co-Founder & Chairman Emeritus
Managing Director, Steward Partners Global Advisory

The Honorable Mary K. Bush
Board Chair
President and Founder, Bush International, LLC

Carol Adelman, Ph.D.
Director, The Hudson Institute Center for Global Prosperity

John A. Bates
Partner, Potomac Equity Partners

Cathy Bernasek
Independent Consultant in the Nonprofit Sector

Gina Coburn
Senior Advisor, Global Philanthropy Group

Ernest Cordova
Managing Director, Accenture

Renee Y. DeVigne
Associate Dean, George Washington University Law School

Bill Dodge
Retired Partner, Deloitte Tax

J. Warren Gorrell, Jr.
CEO Emeritus and Partner, Hogan Lovells

Dorothy Helfenstein
Senior Vice President, Booz Allen Hamilton

Sarah Iddrissu
CPE Alumna
Executive Director, Educators for Excellence, Boston

Margot Machol Bisnow
Author, Raising an Entrepreneur

Sandy Meredith
President, The Meredith Group

Cathy Bernasek
Independent Consultant in the Nonprofit Sector

Caren Merrick
Entrepreneur, Co-founder, webMethods

James E. Nevels
Founder & Chairman, The Swarthmore Group

Charles Rossotti
Senior Advisor, The Carlyle Group

Macani Toungara
Africa Leaders Program Manager, Obama Foundation

Ambassador Michael M. Wood
Chairman, Redwood Investments, LLC

Dennis Via *
Executive Vice President, Booz Allen Hamilton

* Joined September, 2020

Partner Schools

  • Bard Early College High School *
  • Benjamin Banneker Academic High School
  • Bishop McNamara High School
  • Capital City Public Charter School
  • Cadozo TransSTEM Academy *
  • Cesar Chavez Parkside High School
  • Columbia Heights Education Campus (CHEC)
  • Eastern Senior High School
  • Elizabeth Seton High School
  • Gonzaga College High School
  • McKinley Technology High School
  • Phelps Architecture, Construction, and Engineering
  • Ron Brown College Preparatory High School
  • Washington Leadership Academy

  • * Partnership Begins 2021

Corporate Partners

  • Accenture
  • Booz Allen Hamilton
  • Boeing
  • Bloomberg
  • Booz Allen Hamilton
  • CarMax
  • Clark Construction
  • Deloitte
  • EY
  • Fannie Mae
  • Hanley Wood
  • Hilton Hotels Corporation
  • Horizon Government Affairs
  • Macy’s
  • Mastercard
  • Microsoft
  • Sack & Harris PC
  • T. Rowe Price
  • The Boston Consulting Group
  • The Carlyle Group
  • The Walt Disney Company

In-Kind Corporate Partners

  • Bloomberg
  • Booz Allen Hamilton
  • Boeing
  • Deloitte
  • EY
  • Hogan Lovells
  • Merryck & Co
  • Microsoft
  • Pepco Edison Place Gallery
  • Rotary Club of Washington DC
  • Savills



  • Anonymous Individual Donor 1
  • Charles and Barbara Rossotti
  • Michael and Judith Wood
  • Sunrise Foundation
  • Glenn and Suzanne Youngkin

$99,999 - $50,000

  • Evelyn Y. Davis Foundation
  • Michael and Kathryn Hanley
  • The Ceres Foundation
  • The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation
  • The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation
  • The Volgenau Foundation

$49,999 - $20,000

  • Association of American Medical Colleges
  • Cathy and Brian Bernasek
  • Center for Nonprofit Advancement
  • Clark-Winchcole Foundation
  • Gina and Brooke Coburn
  • Hillsdale Fund, Inc.
  • Scheidel Foundation
  • The Harman Family Foundation
  • Virginia Cretella Mars Foundation
  • Warren and Catherine Gorrell
  • William Dodge

$19,999 - $10,000

  • Dr. Carol and Ken Adelman
  • Ameritas Charitable Foundation
  • The Spector Fund at The Boston Foundation
  • CityBridge Foundation
  • Crimsonbridge Foundation
  • David and Elizabeth Ford
  • The International Monetary Fund
  • Joey Kaempfer
  • The Honorable Mary K. Bush
  • National College Attainment Network
  • Share Fund of the Greater Washington Community Foundation
  • The Herb Block Foundation
  • Year Up

$9,999 - $5,000

  • Ann and James Zielinski
  • Burks Lapham
  • Caren Merrick
  • Corina Higginson Trust
  • David and Barbara Lipman
  • DC Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development
  • Paul and Chandler Tagliabue
  • Praveen and Kaili Jeyarajah
  • United Methodist Women of Metropolitan Memorial

$4,999 - $1,000

  • Amy and Warren Belasco
  • Bill Alsup
  • Bruce and Christine Wardinski
  • Charlie Thomas
  • Daniel Kaplan and Kay Richman
  • Danielle McCoy
  • Dimick Foundation
  • Eileen Shields-West
  • Eisenberg Memorial Fund for the Advancement of STEM Education
  • Elliott Ferguson and Telesa Via
  • Fannie Mae Matching Gift Program
  • Frank and Georgine Anton
  • Cynthia and Leonard Glassman
  • Governor John Mckernan and Senator Olympia Snowe
  • Harry Laird
  • Dorothy Helfenstein
  • Hertha Owen
  • Jamie and Daniel Edwards
  • Janet and Gary McDavid
  • Andrew and Julie Klingenstein
  • Kristine and Steve McBrady
  • Laurence Platt and Clare Herington
  • Margot Machol Bisnow and Mark Bisnow
  • Marvin Bush and Margaret Conway Molster
  • Mary Ellen Callahan
  • Maureen Chelius
  • Michele Hagans
  • Morton and Grace Bender
  • Norman Ornstein
  • Patrick and Sheila Gross
  • Philip Dolan
  • Prentiss and Gail Feagles
  • Renato and Pat DiPentima
  • Richard and Joanne Rome
  • Robert P. and Arlene R. Kogod Family Foundation
  • Severina Mladenova and Matthew Nicely
  • Sophie and Val Hawkins
  • The Ruth H Kemp Memorial Foundation
  • Thomas Pyle and Bijal Parikh
  • Macani Toungara
  • W. Edward Walter

$999 - $500

  • Akin and Allison Harrison
  • Amanda Damisch
  • Cindy Gergen
  • D.A. Miller
  • Horizon Government Affairs
  • Jacquelyn and Richard Trefry
  • Julie Banzhaf Stone
  • Kelly and Sean Hafner
  • Kimberly McMillan
  • Kimberly Zablud
  • Laurie and Carl Gershman
  • Philip and Marge Odeen
  • Raymond Wiacek and Nancy O'Connell
  • Robert and Nancy Bloch
  • Roger and Diane Warin
  • Stephen and Susan Immelt
  • Steven Museles
  • Boston Consulting
  • Carlyle Group
  • Walmart Foundation
  • William Janes

$499 - $250

  • Anatol Surak
  • Anne Evans and Bill Wallace
  • Arthur Horne
  • Matthew Bando
  • Beth Flaherty
  • Brian Naumick
  • Curtis Kemp
  • Daniel Stein
  • David Harder and Deborah Greenwald
  • Des Hogan and Mindy Holmes
  • Eileen M Stewart
  • Fred Ansell
  • Kai Pantin
  • Karlan Jankowski
  • Kent Killelea
  • Maria Acebal
  • Marissa Mahoney
  • Mark and Elizabeth Spoto
  • Ned and Betsy Mandel
  • Nina and Andrew Eisenberg
  • Olugbenga Erinle
  • Patricia Stewart
  • Theodore and Claire Schwab
  • Susan and Charles Strittmatter
  • Terence Stewart
  • Thomas White and Elizabeth Ehinger
  • United Way
  • Valarie Johnson
  • Wanda Hill
  • William and Susan Kristol
  • William Manternach

$249 - $1

  • Abdurrauf Shakir
  • Adriana Dugquem
  • Amina Mack
  • Amy Eskay
  • Annessa Kaufman
  • Ann Marie Guzzi
  • Ann Weiss
  • Antoine and Carol Garibaldi
  • Antonio Beard
  • Anya Clifford
  • Ariel Schwartz
  • Arlene and Bob Begelman
  • Ashley Seals
  • Benjamin Bennett
  • Mary Kate Blaine
  • Brenda Gentles
  • Bridget Forbes
  • Byron and Jennifer Shoji
  • Candace Ridgway
  • Carissa Heckathorn
  • Carol Burnett and Mary Appling
  • Celia Barrientos
  • Chris Ingeholm
  • Christina Antoniewicz
  • Christopher Reilly
  • Christopher Warner
  • Damien Savage
  • Danielle Tyler
  • Danielle Welch
  • Darin Simmons
  • Darlene Doorenbos
  • Daryl and Elaine Doorenbos
  • David Richardson
  • Diamond Bell
  • Diana and Bonnie Acosta
  • Diana Vanderbei
  • Dominic Redmond
  • Dorry and Julian Brown
  • Karen Dresden
  • Duane Rollins
  • Eddie Baker
  • Elizabeth Fogarty
  • Elizabeth Mellen
  • Elizabeth Wilke
  • Ellen Gee
  • Emma Stewart
  • Erica Hunter
  • Eric Forseter
  • Anthony F. Fernicola
  • Farnel Maxime
  • Greg Bertlesen
  • Gregory Dendy
  • Gregory Dohmann
  • Heather Secrest and Joachi Mossman
  • Heide and David Zufall
  • Henry Howard, Jr.
  • Sandra Herndon and Alexandra Woodruff
  • Howard Johnson
  • Imane Zirari
  • Irene Komor
  • Isha Tohill
  • Chioma Iwuoha
  • Janis Evans
  • Jaques Moore
  • Jaye Jones
  • Jeanie Ringelberg
  • Jennifer Flaherty
  • Jennifer Richardson
  • Jennifer Werner
  • Jill de Jager
  • Judy Josephs
  • Jule Schrack
  • Karen Ali
  • Karla Palmer
  • Karl Meyer
  • Katharine Salay
  • Kathleen and Kevin McMahon
  • Kathryn Brown
  • Kathy Manternach
  • Katie Gerfen
  • Katie Smith
  • Kelly Grant
  • Kelly Rehman
  • Kendall Hussey
  • Kendra McDow
  • Kenton Sneed
  • Khari Brown
  • Lauren Myers
  • Leah Fantle
  • Linda and Waldemar Antoniewicz
  • Lisa May
  • Lisa Whelan
  • Loree Lipstein
  • Luis Reyes
  • Maija Caune
  • Malisha Cooper-Suggs
  • Marcus Gregg
  • Margaret Hoffmann
  • Mark Houser
  • Mark Swartz
  • Mary Salmonsen
  • Matthew Bass
  • Matt Holmes
  • Maura Vanderzon
  • Maureen Boyle
  • Maureen Conly
  • Kristin Maynard
  • Melissa Bakeberg
  • Melissa Billiter
  • Melissa Lambert
  • Melodie Brown Thomas
  • Mercedes Campbell
  • Mikaela Romero
  • Mikko Simon
  • Holly Miller
  • Molly Doorenbos
  • Nancy Grant
  • Nancy Pinto
  • Nicole Howard
  • Bridget Nikodem
  • Olivia Martin
  • Pamela Doorenbos
  • Patricia Simon
  • Dalton Patterson
  • Porscha Stiger
  • Rachel Allbritten
  • Rhonda Henderson
  • Robin Mellen
  • Rob Williams
  • Ron Spink
  • Rosalyn and Rosie Seibert
  • Samantha Sharpless
  • Sarah Boegner
  • Sarah Lensen
  • Sara Hoffman
  • Sarah Pattison
  • Selorm Quist
  • Sharon Parker
  • Sheldon and Jamie Caplis
  • Stephen Boscolo
  • Steve Cohen
  • Suzanne Romero
  • Talia Hawley
  • Terence Brooks
  • Todd Mueller
  • Toni Flaherty
  • Tracey Twyman
  • Tricia Petersen
  • Robert Van der Waag
  • Vincent M Caruso
  • Vivian Harmon Awumey
  • Alexia Wallace
  • Joel Walters
  • Wendy Gutierrez
  • William Alexander
  • Ysabel and Chas McAleer
  • Yvonne Cheng