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An invitation for innovation, with Beth Schmidt

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My name is Beth Schmidt and my organization is called Wishbone.org. I started Wishbone to actually send low-income students on these after-school and summer programs that are otherwise, pretty much, cost-prohibitive for that demographic. If you look at schools, they're the same as they were how many years ago, and so, that right there, is a big red flag. If you can look at the fact that we are teaching the same way we've taught for ever, that's an invitation for innovation. We have this stale system, right now, that needs reinvigorated. We need to bring technology and new ideas into the field of education in general. We're in the right place, and I think we're bringing in the right kind of energy with entrepreneurs who have been in the classroom. Teaching, in general, it's very similar to starting your own organization and really starting from scratch. The skill sets that were required to succeed in the classroom, those same skill sets are actually transferable to entrepreneurship. I don't think I would have been able to start a company as easily as I did, and it wasn't easy, but as seamlessly as I did, if i didn't have that experience where you are constantly knocked-down and you have to get up, it's just part of life. It's a tall order, and I think those skill sets absolutely translate to the resilience you need to build a company and fail along the way. From childhood, we send all of our students through this very standard education system that just doesn't breed that type of thinking and that type of excitement for learning, in putting passion at the forefront of education. I think the more that we can do that, the more we are going to get people who come out of school and think, "Anything's possible." The more that we can breed that energy, then that energy's going to continue when kids get out of school and realize that the world is open for them to participate in. So if you can believe in the potential for people to empower themselves and succeed, you have to believe that we can change a system that's made up of people. I'm an eternal optimist about the educational landscape. We've put all of our energy into it financially, and also in terms of human capital, ideas and thoughts. It's a very special time. Strong leaders are going where it's very difficult to go. If you believe in the potential of people, you have to believe in the potential of education in America. To me, they go hand-in-hand, entrepreneurship and education. You have to have fresh ideas to change something that's broken and, right now, education is a little bit broken. [Transcription by Khan Academy]

Video Details

Duration: 2 minutes and 49 seconds
Year: 2014
Country: United States
Language: English
License: Dotsub - Standard License
Genre: None
Producer: Khan Academy
Views: 90
Posted by: aangellosa on Aug 8, 2015

Beth Schmidt was a Teach for America Corps Member teaching 10th Grade English at Locke High School in South Central, Los Angeles, when she asked her class to write about their passion and an after-school and summer program they wanted to attend. Their essays prompted her to find a way to make these life-changing opportunities available to her students. She started Wishbone to send students to programs that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford.

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