Educational Institutions

Beyond Talent

  • Washington, DC

This organization has not appeared on the IRS Business Master File in a number of months. It may have merged with another organization or ceased operations.

This organization's exempt status was automatically revoked by the IRS for failure to file a Form 990, 990-EZ, 990-N, or 990-PF for 3 consecutive years. Further investigation and due diligence are warranted.

Mission Statement

The mission of Beyond Talent was to empower non-traditional high school graduates in the Washington, DC, area to overcome barriers to higher education and employment so they can succeed, and start cycles of success in their communities. 

The term non-traditional refers to anyone who has dropped out of high school and pursued an alternative means of secondary education such as the GED. Beyond Talent also provided counseling to ESL students who were graduates of high schools in other countries.

Main Programs

  1. College Compass
  2. Next Steps
  3. Peer Mentoring

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Service Areas


District of Columbia

ruling year


Principal Officer since 2007


Ms. Ellie Phillips Ellie Phillips



Beyond Talent, Beyond, Talent, Adult Education, GED, G.E.D., mentor, mentoring, community developement,

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Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Adult, Continuing Education (B60)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (B01)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (S01)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?


Self-reported by organization

When Ellie Phillips founded Beyond
Talent in 2003, as a 24-year-old GED instructor, the District had virtually no
resources for students transitioning from GED programs. With nowhere
to send my graduating students, she started helping them myself. That was the
beginning of Beyond Talent’s journey.
Ever since,
Beyond Talent has been helping people embark upon career paths. Literally
hundreds of youth and adults in DC benefited from Beyond Talent’s three
programs. The number of participants grew every year.

thanks in part to Beyond Talent, the District has developed extensive resources
for "non-traditional students." A college preparatory program that Beyond
Talent helped to create continues to thrive. Public charter schools like Next
Step and organizations like Academy of Hope have hired full-time transition
counselors. The Herb Block Foundation and New Futures offer scholarships to
community colleges and vocational programs. And, after years of task forces and
meetings and advocacy, the District has a community college.

One of the
purposes of College Compass was to prepare students for university placement
exams such as the Accuplacer. Today, the Community College of the District of
Columbia offers enrolling students an Accuplacer-prep program.

Similarly, the purpose of the Peer Mentoring
Program was to place graduating GED students in the role of tutors and mentors
to their peers who were still in GED programs. Our most consistent partner in
this effort was Living Wages. Gradually, more and more Beyond Talent Peer
Mentors became full-time AmeriCorps volunteers at Living Wages. Today, Living
Wages routinely recruits AmeriCorps volunteers and staff from the student population.


Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

College Compass

College Compass is a college access and success program for
non-traditional students ages 18 to 25 in the District area. Beyond
Talent’s curriculum prepares students for the math and writing sections
of the Accuplacer examination, a national placement examination that
assesses a student’s readiness for college level work. High scores in
the math and writing sections of the exam eliminate the need for
developmental courses. Developmental courses (also known as remedial
courses) cost the same as other college level courses, but do not count
towards graduation. Many non-traditional students, spending the first
year to two years in these courses, become frustrated with their slow
progress or run out of money before they have the opportunity to gain
skills that will translate to the workforce. Preparing for the
Accuplacer examination puts Beyond Talent students in a better position
to place into credit-bearing courses. Offering College Compass on a
college campus provides an opportunity for students to be fully engaged
in a college environment. College Compass also includes a study skills
course, "Strategies for College Success," provided through a
collaboration with Walter E. Dennis Learning Center of Ohio State
University. The Catholic University of America has agreed to host the
classes on their Washington, DC, campus.

Beyond Talent plans to
expose its students to pertinent resources such as the library,
tutorial services, as well as social resources that include campus
clubs and sport activities. The program is aiming to create a college
experience that students can succeed. Once students complete the
11-week program, their involvement with Beyond Talent does not end.
Counselors work with students to find appropriate college programs,
research scholarships, and provide ongoing advice pertaining to college



Population(s) Served

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Males, all ages or age unspecified



Program 2

Next Steps

Beyond Talent provides essential, individualized services to meet the needs of graduates referred by partner programs. Each graduate meets one-on-one with Beyond Talent staff or volunteer to discuss goals and ambitions and complete the Beyond Talent personal and professional development plan, outlining goals and steps to achieve them. Next, Beyond Talent supports the graduate to achieve immediate goals and work toward long-term goals. For example, if a graduate needs to enter the workforce immediately, Beyond Talent assists with resume writing, and trains the graduate in job searching and interviewing. If college is the graduate’s goal, Beyond Talent assists with the application process. To build capacity for one-on-one counseling, Beyond Talent in 2008 launched a volunteer recruitment campaign. The volunteers are trained in the Beyond Talent curriculum and paired in mentoring relationships with non-traditional high school graduates. Volunteers meet weekly with their mentees for the first 3 months of the one-year commitment, and bimonthly after that. Beyond Talent assists mentoring pairs in achieving their goals for the duration of the relationships and continues providing direct service.



Population(s) Served

Females, all ages or age unspecified

Males, all ages or age unspecified



Program 3

Peer Mentoring

The Beyond Talent Peer
Mentoring Program is an innovative, win-win, capacity-building strategy for GED
and External Diploma programs. Beyond Talent’s 4 partner sites recommend 1
graduate per site to be a peer mentor to 10 students over the course of a
year.  Each Peer Mentor volunteers
5 hours per week tutoring at their site for 10 months. In return, Beyond Talent
assists the Peer Mentors with the financial, academic, and other support
necessary to transition to postsecondary education or training.



Population(s) Served

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General


Young Adults (20-25 years) -- currently not in use



Service Areas


District of Columbia


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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Beyond Talent



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Principal Officer

Ms. Ellie Phillips Ellie Phillips


Ellie Phillips has
been working in youth and adult basic education programs in the District of
Columbia since 2001, first as a teacher and later as a program administrator.
In 2003, recognizing the need for transitional support services for graduates
of GED and External Diploma Programs, Ellie founded Beyond Talent, a non-profit
organization with a mission to empower non-traditional high school graduates to
overcome barriers to higher education and employment so they can succeed, and
start cycles of success in their own communities. As Executive Director of
Beyond Talent, Ellie was selected to participate in two programs that provide
non-profit management and capacity-building training at no cost to select
non-profit leaders -- Fair Chance and the Strategic Partnerships Initiative of
the Mayor's Office of Partnerships and Grants Development. In 2007, Ellie
became Beyond Talent's first full-time staff member. She has worked as a
consultant in the District of Columbia Public Schools and has a graduate
certification in adult education from the University of the District of
Columbia. She has a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University.

STATEMENT FROM THE Principal Officer

"After 7 years, Beyond Talent has reached the end of its journey.
many ways, the 2009 -2010 school year was Beyond Talent’s most successful. For
one thing, Beyond Talent had a full-time executive director, 2 full-time
AmeriCorps volunteers, a top-notch office, numerous community partnerships, and
a Board of committed, active individuals who put on a beautiful gala event (which
many of you attended). Programs continued to grow and expand – we started doing
workshops for larger and larger groups of students, and preparing dozens of
students for college by tutoring in GED programs. 

2009-2010, Beyond Talent ran a program, College Compass, that was a model of efficacy and excellence
in education. It combined all
the most successful elements of the college readiness programs Beyond Talent
had been operating since 2006. The professors, the students, the case
management and support – everything was the best of the best.  The May graduation event was a beautiful
celebration of the students’ success.
course, every journey’s end is bittersweet.

provides the level of one-on-one educational case management that Beyond Talent
did. Our volunteers and staff met regularly with students who needed guidance
and accountability in completing college enrollment paperwork; registering for
classes and buying books; transferring their credits from another country to
area universities – and more.

it turns out, College Compass was the last program Beyond Talent could afford
to offer. Still, reaching the decision to close was like arriving smoothly at
the end of a wonderful and exhausting journey. The work of closing the
organization, and the office, has occupied me ever since.

belief in Beyond Talent, and in me, has made all of this possible. Your
investment in Beyond Talent has made it possible. I hope you agree that the
return on investment has been well worth every penny, every moment, and
everything that matters.
 Thank you."



Reginald Johnson


Term: Oct 2008 - Oct 2010


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