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Next BIG Thing – Educate!

Posted Under: Next BIG Thing, Startup

Today under the “Next BIG Thing” series we are proudly featuring Educate!, a company started in 2002 that helps build comminutes in Uganda. Educate! is a recent winner of the CHAMPIONS OF QUALITY EDUCATION IN AFRICA competition, a collaboration between Ashoka’s Changemakers and The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. They were also recognized by ENTREPRENEUR MAGAZINE as one of 100 Brilliant Companies in 2009. DOSOMETHING listed the founder – Eric Glustrom as one of Americas top five change-makers under 25. THE ECHOING GREEN FELLOWSHIP touted Educate!s potential as a social change venture to be among the highest in the world.

Educate! was founded in 2002, when Eric Glustrom was 17; his firsthand experience with the country’s problems and a suggestion from Benson, a Ugandan friend, encouraged Glustrom to start the organization. Here’s a link to the full story.

Now, Educate! empowers students in Uganda by providing them with the social entrepreneurship skills to help their communities. Our programs are working to unlock the potential of African youth, enabling them to solve their communities’ greatest problems of poverty, disease and environmental degradation. Our model is exponential empowerment – investing long-term in a few so they can positively impact many others.  Educate! provides a proven mix of a leadership course, long-term mentoring, practical experience solving a community problem, and an alumni network for high school aged youth.

Why Educate!

Because Educate! already demonstrates itself as a proven model:

-48 community initiatives started

-20,050 trees planted

-12 businesses started

-More than 17,000 lives impacted

The #1 challenge:

Educate! began as a scholarship organization working to provide money to Ugandan families that would fund their children’s education. We soon realized that the education system in Uganda could do more to teach students not just facts, but how to think for themselves. Educate! has now developed a powerful model of combining education with mentoring and leadership. Our program, called the Educate! Experience, aims to catalyze the sequence of relationships, empowerment and leadership on a country-wide scale.  The Experience is a two-year mentoring program that teaches students to become socially responsible leaders in their schools, communities, and future careers. The innovative curriculum includes the creation of a student-led social enterprise. We recently doubled our student enrollment from 415 to 830 scholars who are enrolled in 24 schools across the country. It will be amazing to see what our students do with their knowledge and how the communities are transformed; however, though we are excited to continue growing, that expansion is hampered by limited funding and public awareness.

How to help!

Simply by spreading the word. We know that one person can’t do all the work, but Educate! believes that a little help from lots of people will lead to huge opportunities for the next generation of Ugandans. So get involved!

And, every dollar helps. We also offer an investment program that allows individuals to directly put a high potential student in Uganda through the two year Educate! Experience program. It costs just 83 cents a day or $25 a month.

We wish all the very best to Eric and Educate!

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