Thursday, December 4, 2008

Mind Trust Invests in Entrepreneurs to Transform Public Education

Mind Trust announced awarding $730,000 through Education Entrepreneur Fellowships to help incubate their ideas to transform public education in the nation’s most under-served communities.

The three fellows were selected from an applicant pool of 342 people. The Mind Trust awarded two-year Fellowships to the following three individuals to launch their respective initiatives:

Dr. Celine Coggins, formerly a middle school teacher and Research Director at the Rennie Center for Education Research and Policy in Cambridge, Massachusetts, was awarded a Fellowship to pursue “Teach Plus,” an initiative focused on keeping excellent early career teachers in the profession.

Ms. Abigail Falik was awarded a Fellowship to launch Global Citizen Year (GCY). GCY will engage thousands of diverse young Americans in a transformative “Bridge Year” of global service between high school and college.

Mr. Earl Martin Phalen, a three-time recipient of Fast Company’s Social Capitalist Awards, was awarded the Fellowship to create a national organization that will provide over one million elementary and middle school students living in low-income communities with research-based summer learning programs designed to produce substantial academic gains.

Kudos to awardees! Thanks for setting a brisk pace for the rest of us.

Fellows are full-time employees of The Mind Trust throughout the Fellowship. They receive a $90,000 annual salary during the Fellowship and a full benefits package that includes medical, dental, and retirement benefits. In addition, fellows receive a stipend of $20,000 over the two years for travel and customized professional development.

The Mind Trust received applications from 342 people in 37 states and citizens of Canada, China, Lithuania, Nigeria, and the United Kingdom. Of the 342 applicants, 270 had or were working toward an advanced degree, including 75 Ph.D.’s, 50 M.B.A.’s, 169 Masters’, and 18 J.D.’s.

Applicants represented some of the nation’s best schools including all eight Ivy League Schools, Stanford, Northwestern, Spelman, Duke, UC Berkeley, Howard, Emory, UCLA, Michigan, Notre Dame, Georgetown, Texas and MIT. Applicants also represented 21 leading colleges and universities in Indiana.

The Mind Trust staff and a team of national social and education entrepreneurship experts reviewed applications and interviewed candidates, advising The Mind Trust’s Board of Directors on the top candidates.

The Challenge Foundation provided The Mind Trust with $486,400 to support The Mind Trust’s Fellowship. In recognition of that support, this Fellowship cohort has been designated as honorary Challenge Foundation Fellows.

The Mind Trust will announce in early 2009the application process for a third class of fellows. Watch for the announcement, Tableteers, venture educators, and others interested in widening the use of mobile PCs in order to increase learning. I'll post it as soon as I receive it.

The Mind Trust is a nonprofit organization with a mission to improve public education dramatically for underserved students by empowering education entrepreneurs to develop or expand transformative education initiatives.

To achieve its mission, The Mind Trust has two strategies: (1) a nationally unique Education Entrepreneur Fellowship that serves as an incubator for transformative education ventures; and (2) a Venture Fund to recruit to Indianapolis the nation’s most successful entrepreneurial education initiatives.

To date, The Mind Trust has invested nearly $3 million from its Venture Fund to successfully attract Teach For America, The New Teacher Project and College Summit to Indianapolis.