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Our History

Sound Business, Inc. is the result of a long-term vision of holistic education translated into action by its Founder and former Executive Director, Charles R. Thompson. Initiated at Randolph High in 1991, the mission of SBI is to foster systemic socio-economic change through grass-roots education initiatives in public schools. The mission of CCPI is to prepare public high school students for admission into selective undergraduate programs at residential colleges; it is a comprehensive four-year program that addresses their academic, attitudinal and socio-cultural needs. A core component of CCPI is a performing arts program offered after school that uses the arts as a catalyst to transform the lives of the participating students.

Having achieved a high level of excellence, experience and expertise in working with public high school students of color, SBI is poised to share its achievements with others willing to put in the time and effort to help students in need succeed. True to its mission, SBI envisions creating an advocacy and outreach program that will provide a road map for other not-for-profit education organizations in NYC and across the nation to form partnerships with public high schools. The goal of each partnership is to create a similar environment in each school that supports and helps high potential youth develop and reach their own personal life goals. 

In its work, SBI has created a new role for a nonprofit organization that partners with a public high school. The sole mission of such an organization is advocating for and serving just that one school and its students. Advocacy activities in the school focus on providing access to higher education for students from poor neighborhoods in the city. The goal is to create a school that has longevity and serves its students well, an experience that is common for students from wealthier communities. SBI has provided the following for Randolph High over the years: an arts program, a friends committee, organized alumni supporters and dozens of volunteers, established relationships with college diversity recruiters throughout the region, and a created a comprehensive four-year cohort program. Our success is reflected in the colleges SBI students have attended, such as Skidmore, Gettysburg, University of Pennsylvania, Cornell, Brown, Middlebury, Trinity, Bowdoin, Hobart and William Smith, LeMoyne, Nazareth, Siena, RPI, RIT, Allegheny, McDaniel, Stony Brook, Geneseo, Wesleyan, and Vassar. SBI’s work with Randolph High School serves as a model for what other schools can achieve.

“Instead of inheriting a broken system, we have the power to change it.”

Yara Shahidi

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