Following Europe, observing that her students, though musically gifted did not have a firm grasp of the tools for success and that offered many excuses for not setting and accomplishing goals; Garrett founded the “Excellence Without Excuses” program.
The Excellence Without Excuses program was an after-school values training and scholarship program. Excellent Without Excuses provided student enrichment programs, college tours, and college scholarships for choir members. The choir was in high demand to sing at conferences, luncheons, and gatherings by businesses, organizations, and churches, resulting in performance fees, which Garrett designated towards college scholarships, annually.
The non-profit Eastern Choral Society was organized in 1995 to better support the choir’s Excellent Without Excuses program. Between 1989 and 2003, over one million dollars was awarded to choir members who accepted the challenge of higher education. Individuals, foundations, colleges, AT&T, and The Washington Post were major supporters of this program. West Virginia Wesleyan College, Ohio Wesleyan College, the University of the District of Columbia University, and George Washington University, all partnered with the choir in its scholarship programs. By 1998 nearly100 percent of choir graduates were attending college.