Beacon Self-Directed Learning
123 Whalley Ave.
New Haven CT 06511-3220
Contact Information
Address 123 Whalley Ave.
New Haven, CT 06511-3220
Telephone (203) 747 x8735
Fax 203-747-8735
E-mail info@beaconlearning.org
Web and Social Media
Beacon is a great place to be!
Mission

Beacon Self-Directed Learning is an alternative learning environment for youth, ages 9-18. Flexible and non-coercive, our collaborative staff guides participants towards taking responsibility for their own education and envisioning and realizing goals at their own pace. Beacon works with families to make it financially possible for any motivated young person to attend Beacon.

At A Glance
Year of Incorporation 2013
Organization's type of tax exempt status Public Supported Charity
Organization received a competitive grant from the community foundation in the past five years No
Leadership
CEO/Executive Director Catherine Shannon
Board Chair Catherine Shannon
Board Chair Company Affiliation none
Financial Summary
Revenue vs Expenses Bar Graph - All Years
Statements
Mission

Beacon Self-Directed Learning is an alternative learning environment for youth, ages 9-18. Flexible and non-coercive, our collaborative staff guides participants towards taking responsibility for their own education and envisioning and realizing goals at their own pace. Beacon works with families to make it financially possible for any motivated young person to attend Beacon.

Background

Beacon Self-Directed Learning opened in April 2013 with a six week pilot program. Now completing its fifth full year, Beacon has a paid staff of four and a robust group of volunteers. Beacon Self Directed Learning was founded on the premise that school functions more efficiently when it is not a one-size-fits-all environment. Beacon was created to provide an alternative learning center for those teens who are not fully engaged in the learning process in school. Beacon advisors support youth in finding meaningful learning by helping them to identify their strengths and passions and connecting them with opportunities and learning experiences to progress in their life and learning.  

Impact

Beacon is a small socially-conscious venture in education located in New Haven that serves young people and their families from all over Connecticut, which has radically changed the lives of its families and teens since April 2013. Teens who were disengaged came to Beacon and found community and positive inspiration, and began to believe in themselves again. Many concerned families have seen their children reconnect with learning and succeed in taking charge of their education through the support and guidance Beacon offers. Wonderful dedicated volunteers find meaning through teaching what they are passionate about.

Beacon’s financial accomplishment is its grassroots funded start-up phase and keeping its doors open to continue to provide a radically alternative path for individuals not thriving in school. Beacon has been funded primarily through membership fees and individual donations. Beacon has succeeded in not turning a family away because of financial hardship by using a tiered fee structure. Over 98 percent of our members require drastically reduced fees. Beacon manages to run on a fine thread budget. Our small staff continues to create a unique, welcoming and flexible learning environment. Beacon is now part of Liberated Learners, an umbrella organization connecting and supporting self-directed learning centers in the U.S. and Canada. Liberated Learners, bent on creating authentic and alternative learning spaces for teens outside of school, is working towards opening self-directed learning centers all over North America.

Needs
1. Money to grow and improve infrastructure and space
2. Funds to create scholarships which allow more families from low-income households to attend Beacon
3. Funds for academic capacity building (books, supplies, enrichment opportunities, etc.)
4. Volunteers to teach core subjects
5. A van or small bus to transport students on field trips or other Beacon-related events 
Service Categories
Primary Organization Category Education / Educational Services
Secondary Organization Category Youth Development / Youth Development NEC
Tertiary Organization Category Human Services / Children's and Youth Services
Areas Served
Ansonia
Bethany
Branford
Cheshire
Derby
East Haven
Guilford
Hamden
Lower Naugatuck Valley
Madison
Milford
New Haven
North Branford
North Haven
Orange
Oxford
Seymour
Shelton
Shoreline
Wallingford
West Haven
Woodbridge
Other
Programs
Description
Beacon provides youth ages 9-18 access to a non-coercive, flexible educational environment and allows working families the opportunity to homeschool. Beacon is located in New Haven and serves families from West Haven, East Haven, the shoreline, Hamden, Meriden, Middletown, Portland and other surrounding areas.  
Beacon provides a welcoming and supportive multi-aged community that helps kids build confidence, grow and develop skills and passions.   
Population Served Adolescents Only (13-19 years) / Children Only (5 - 14 years) /
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Program is frequently assessed based on predetermined program goals Yes
CEO/Executive Director
Catherine Shannon
Term Start Mar 2013
Email catherine.shannon@beaconlearning.org
Co-CEO
Elisabeth Kennedy
Term Start Mar 2013
Email elisabeth.kennedy@beaconlearning.org
Staff
Number of Full Time Staff 1
Number of Part Time Staff 3
Number of Volunteers 10
Number of Contract Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate 100%
Staff Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 1
Caucasian 2
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 1 0
Staff Demographics - Gender
Male 1
Female 3
Unspecified 0
Board Chair
Catherine Shannon
Company Affiliation none
Term Mar 2013 to June 2023
Board of Directors
NameAffiliation
Catherine Fisher Director of Educational Programming
Nuch Graves Treasurer
Elisabeth Kennedy Director of Operations
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 1
Caucasian 3
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 0
Female 4
Board Co-Chair
Elisabeth M Kennedy
Company Affiliation none
Term July 2012 to June 2020
Email elisabeth.kennedy@beaconlearning.org
 
 
Financials
Fiscal Year Start July 01 2017
Fiscal Year End June 30 2018
Projected Revenue $130,000.00
Projected Expenses $118,000.00
Spending Policy N/A
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund No
Detailed Financials
Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities Chart
Fiscal Year201720162015
Total Assets$22,295$8,593$20,205
Current Assets$20,669$4,504$13,653
Long-Term Liabilities------
Current Liabilities------
Total Net Assets$22,295$8,593$20,205
Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201720162015
Top Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Capitial Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Comments
CEO Comments While Catherine Shannon is our Board Chair and is involved in all aspects of Beacon, she does not receive any monetary compensation from Beacon. 
Foundation Staff Comments This profile, including the financial summaries prepared and submitted by the organization based on its own independent and/or internal audit processes and regulatory submissions, has been read by the Foundation. Some financial information from the organization’s IRS Form 990, audited financial statements or other financial documents approved has been inputted by Foundation staff. The Foundation has not audited the organization’s financial statements or tax filings, and makes no representations or warranties thereon. A more complete picture of the organization’s finances can be obtained by viewing the attached 990s and audited financials. To see if the organization has received a competitive grant from The Community Foundation in the last five years, please go to the General Information Tab of the profile.
Address 123 Whalley Ave.
New Haven, CT 065113220
Primary Phone 203 747 8735
Contact Email info@beaconlearning.org
CEO/Executive Director Catherine Shannon
Board Chair Catherine Shannon
Board Chair Company Affiliation none

 

Related Information

Provide Quality Education

Educate a child and you change a community. For the child, a good education means better career opportunities and higher lifetime earnings. College graduates enjoy better health and are more inclined to volunteer and vote. For the community, supporting our youths’ educational goals results in a stronger society.