SDG04 – Quality Education

These social entrepreneurs are achieving Sustainable Development Goal 4, Quality Education: Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning.

Closing the Adult Education Gap for Employers and Employees, with Ned Zimmerman-Bence, GogyUp

GogyUp removes language barriers from the workplace. According to the most recent report from the US Department of Labor, there are currently 6.9 million job openings in the US. In the last month alone, job openings in nondurable goods manufacturing increased by more than 30,000. Businesses are finding it difficult to find qualified employees who can meet the rigors of technical qualifications. At the same time, 36 million US adults read below the 3rd-grade level. And 90 million adults struggle to read technical writing. Yet, only 5% have access to the instruction that they need. That’s where GogyUp comes in. Their Employment Literacy System (ELS) is a tool for on-boarding,…

Read More

The Power of a Simple Idea, with Lulu Cerone, LemonAID Warriors

LemonAID Warriors is a youth empowerment program that aims to give young people the tools that they need to turn their compassion into action and raise funds and awareness for causes that they care about Lulu Cerone was an entrepreneur from an early age. At the age of six, she opened her first lemonade stand. At first, she used the money to buy toys or candy. But her mom made a suggestion. Why not use the profits to help someone else? Lulu looked into it and found an animal shelter that needed the funds. “This really crazy thing happened,” Lulu said. “This thing I was doing with my friends actually…

Read More

Educational Opportunities for All, with Maimuna Ahmad, Teach for Bangladesh

Nearly 60 million children in Bangladesh are denied high-quality education as a result of an inequitable system. Teach for Bangladesh is addressing this problem.  Bangladesh is one of the poorest countries in the world, and yet a country of great opportunities. However, those opportunities are not evenly distributed across society. Many children live on less than $2 per day. They go to school for as little 2-3 hours per day, often in classrooms that can swell to 120 students or more. Of the 17 million children who begin elementary school each year, only around 2 million will graduate from high school. The teachers themselves are sometimes poorly educated, with most…

Read More

Global Competencies for High School Graduates, with Abby Falik, Global Citizen Year

Global Citizen Year is a program that offers a year of travel, discovery, and growth for high school graduates. What does it take to succeed in a work world that is volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous? How does a young person succeed as a citizen of an integrated global economy? While traditional, fundamental skills are still important, so are empathy, ease with ambiguity, resilience, grit, and global mindset. But how many high school graduates possess these skills? Abby Falik describes her high school self as an “excellent sheep.” She remembers graduating from high school exhausted. “I had gotten into Stanford, which was very exciting, but I wasn’t super motivated to…

Read More

A Second Chance at Childhood, with Jenny Bowen, OneSky

OneSky is an international NGO that works with governments and communities to help the most disadvantaged and marginalized children. Jenny Bowen is a storyteller. In this interview, she tells the story of OneSky. I would also suggest that you pick up Jenny’s book, Wish You Happy Forever: What China’s Children Taught Me About Moving Mountains. Because Jenny tells the story so well, I recommend the audiobook. It seems like a simple concept. When children interact with loving parents, they learn…well, they learn everything. They learn a sense of self. They develop language and mobility and curiosity and so much more. But, not all children are so lucky as to have…

Read More

Closing the Opportunity Gap with Sondra Samuels, Northside Achievement Zone (NAZ)

The Northside Achievement Zone exists to permanently close the opportunity gap and end multi-generational poverty in North Minneapolis. Sondra Samuels grew up in New Jersey. At an early age, she moved schools from Newark, where 52% of the population is African American, to Scotch Plains, NJ, where African Americans make up 11% of the population. As she integrated the new school, she said she “nobody had an expectation that I was going to succeed.” As a teen, she experienced the death of several young African American men. Sondra explained, “They were being murdered by other young African American men. Remember, I’m living in the suburbs, and I’m experiencing young black…

Read More

144, Mario Jovan Shaw, Profound Gentlemen | Male Educators of Color as Role Models for Boys of Color

Profound Gentlemen is having a profound impact on boys of color through social-emotional learning. How do you raise a successful boy of color, in an age of Trayvon Martin and Philando Castile? Boys of Color are four times more likely to receive out of school suspensions as their peers. They are rarely exposed to men of color in the classroom, despite data that shows that having men of color as role models greatly improves the social, emotional, and academic progress of all students, but especially boys of color. More than a quarter of men of color will leave the education profession after their first year. In 2013, Mario Jovan Shaw…

Read More

140, Benje Williams, Amal Academy | Continuous Action Creates a Path Out of Poverty

Through continuous action, Benje Williams helps Pakistani youth find a path out of poverty. Benje Williams’ parents wanted to make an impact with their lives. They did so by adopting eight children. As Benje grew up, his parents pressed him to ask himself what his contribution to the world would be. While Benje was in university, he had a chance to accompany his dad to Kenya. There, he met people that, except for circumstances of birth, were not too different from him and his family at home. “Perhaps family for me was much more global than I had previously thought.” A belief began to cement itself inside of him. “We’re…

Read More

137, Misan Rewane, WAVE | Skills over Schools

Misan Rewane focuses on employability skills over school degrees. She thinks schools, employers and the government should do the same. Misan is one of those bright stars you want to hang out with for an afternoon tea. However, I suspect that, instead of tea, she would put you immediately to work. Her passion for solving the youth unemployment gap comes through in every conversation. She said of the founding team, “We are young West Africans who, by accident of birth and circumstances and opportunity were able to get access to some of the best education in the world.” She knows that for most of her peers, that is not the…

Read More

125, Ellen Moir, New Teacher Center (NTC) | Improve Student Learning by Accelerating Teacher Effectiveness

When we focus on teachers, students succeed. When students succeed, society succeeds. Though it is decidedly unfair, your zip code can have a tremendous impact on your chances of success. The path for success or failure begins with education. Not every student has the same opportunity to succeed. Poorer students and students of color have for many years performed behind other students. For example in Minnesota where I live, 70% of white students achieve proficiency in math and reading on the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments. However, only about a third of black, Hispanic and Native American students were proficient. There is a problematic paradox in education. Low-income and minority students need…

Read More