July 03, 2017

Teach For America Announces Social Innovation Award Winners

Aaron Frumin, Bianca Cabrera, Wisdom Amouzou and Nathan Pai Schmitt

Last month, Teach For America announced the alumni entrepreneur winners of its 2017 Social Innovation Award. This year’s winning initiatives were unCommon Construction, The Hada-Nõu Collective and Goals Genius, which were recognized for their powerful visions and potential to scale their impact.

The two winners in the Overall Track for more mature enterprises that are in a position to scale are unCommon Construction and The Hada-Nõu Collective, which will each receive $50,000 to continue developing and expanding their reach. The winner in the Pre-Pilot Track category for early-stage projects, Goals Genius, will receive $25,000 to launch and strengthen its platform through technical support.

unCommon Construction, founded and led by Aaron Frumin (Colorado ’11), helps students earn credits and scholarships while building houses, while The Hada-Nõu Collective (formerly HackSchool), co-founded by Wisdom Amouzou (Colorado ’13) and Nathan Pai Schmitt (Colorado ’12) develops new schools grounded in what its founders call “community-led, authentic education." Goals Genius, founded and led by Bianca Cabrera (New York ’14), is building a platform to help teachers track data and adjust instruction to accelerate the progress of special education students.

Over 180 Teach For America alumni or teams of alumni applied to be considered for this year’s Social Innovation Award, the largest application pool in the competition’s six-year history. Ten innovators or innovation ventures were chosen as finalists, with those in the Overall Track each receiving $5,000 awards and early-stage projects each receiving $2,000 awards. A panel of 12 judges (including alumni entrepreneurs, philanthropists, venture capitalists and members of Teach For America’s executive team) heard pitches from each finalist, met with finalists in small-group interviews, and made the winning selections.

Congratulations to all of the 2017 Social Innovation Award winners and contenders for their hard work and continued commitment to ensuring all children have the education, support, and opportunity they need to fulfill their potential. We look forward to learning more from these inspiring ventures as they make progress toward their goals.

Learn more about the winners at One Day, the website for Teach For America’s alumni magazine.