THE OTHER HALF: Echoing Green fellow Rey Faustino cares about improving learning outcomes. But he's not going to tackle it via the conventional means of content access and delivery. (What good does a next-gen, hyper-adaptive and gamified program do when a kid is cold and hungry?) Faustino wants to tackle the issues that take place away from school--the "other half of the equation"--such as hunger, family employment, and immigration. His organization, One Degree, is building a web and mobile app--a "Yelp of nonprofits"--that teachers and school counselors can use to find nearby social services.
Faustino has been developing his vision for quite some time, drawing up the business plan while at Harvard Kennedy School, from which he recently graduated. His organization will get a big boost from Echoing Green, which named him one of 36 fellows in 2012. (EG is a nonprofit social venture fund that has helped spawn mission-driven organizations including Teach for America). With the cash, network, and visibility, Faustino aims to pilot One Degree at three low-income schools in San Francisco this coming school year.
His point: "Some people don't think of education as a place to deal with out-of-school poverty issues. But teachers and social workers are at the frontline when dealing with these issues...content and delivery is popular and stylish, but the back-end infrastructure of how school counselors and social workers operate is ripe for innovation."