SDG4

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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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