Forbes Honors 10 Teach For America Alumni

Left-to-right, top row: Jacob Allen and Marie Dandie, Louise Baigelman, Hardy Farrow, Ryan Hoch; Bottom row: Jenna Leahy, Brittany Stich, Joe Vasquez, Mario Jovan Shaw and Jason Terrell

In Forbes Magazine’s recent 30 Under 30 2017 U.S. issue, 10 Teach For America alumni have been recognized in the Education and Social Entrepreneurs categories of the 30 Under 30 honoree list. Having gained experience teaching in high-need classrooms and communities across the United States, these 10 alumni form part of a larger Teach For America network of more than 11,000 innovators and entrepreneurs—many of whom have also been recognized by Forbes in previous editions. Meet the Teach For America 2017 honorees:



Jacob Allen (Teach For America — Chicago-Northwest Indiana 2013)
and Marie Dandie (Teach For America — Chicago-Northwest Indiana 2013)

The two Teach For America alumni, Jacob and Marie, co-founded pilotED Schools—primary education geared toward students immersing themselves in curricula that focus on sociological identity, academic excellence, and civic engagement. The Chicago-based school has generated very encouraging results since opening its doors in 2013, with a 93 percent high school graduation rate, 88 percent reduction in suspensions and 28 percent increase in attendance.


Louise Baigelman (Teach For America — Massachusetts 2009)

Louise co-founded Story Shares, which offers a digital reading platform that makes stories more age-appropriate and accessible, in addition to a digital book-building platform that allows authors to navigate the writing process effectively and produce precise, age-appropriate content for a targeted audience. The Boston-based literacy hub is a favorite of teachers from middle to high school in 44 states and 26 countries.


Hardy Farrow (Teach For America — Memphis 2013)

As the Executive Director of Let's Innovate Through Education (LITE), Hardy aims to close the opportunity gap via a three-pronged approach that fosters the academic growth of low-income students through high school, college, and beyond. The Memphis-based program offers an entrepreneurial curriculum where high school students—who are graduating at a perfect 100 percent clip—develop a business plan with the help of local professional mentors and seed investment. At the next level, LITE provides support for college students in identifying scholarship opportunities and internships that align with their passions.


Ryan Hoch (Teach For America — St. Louis 2009)

Co-founded three years ago by Ryan, Overgrad is a free platform that allows students to make informed decisions about their transition from high school to college and beyond. The software helps users track their grades and standardized tests individually, as well as conduct research on prospective colleges. Over 70,000 students in over 800 high schools in 15 countries use the software.


Jenna Leahy (Teach For America — Phoenix 2010)

Jenna and fellow TFA alumna Tacey Clayton joined forces to start CASA Academy, a K-3 public charter where 98 percent of CASA students qualify for free and reduced lunch. They have already raised a $1.1 million in grants and donations, along with over $720,000 in scholarships for their students.


Brittany Stich (Teach For America — Bay Area 2010)

Brittany co-founded Guild Education in 2015 with the aim of offering online classes, programs, and accredited college degrees for people in the workforce, while collaborating with employers to provide job training for career advancement. After raising $10.5 million in funding and coaching approximately 1,700 working adults, they are well on their way to achieving that goal. Currently, Guild works with companies like Chipotle that offer education as a benefit to their employees in the form of management training programs and degree opportunities from universities.  


Joe Vasquez (Teach For America Bay Area 2011)
Founded by Joe, San Francisco-based Runway Incubator is a technology innovation hub sets up community gatherings, educational events, and other support a fledgling ed-tech entrepreneur might need. The incubator has already enjoyed some early success, as last year’s first cohort of startups each received 
equity investment of $25,000, as well as access to invaluable networking opportunities with Silicon Valley mentors, investors, and industry leaders.


Mario Jovan Shaw (Teach For America Charlotte 2012)
and Jason Terrell (Teach For America Charlotte 2012)

Mario and Jason’s mission for Profound Gentlemen is to cultivate a “cradle-to-career pipeline,” which involves this community of educators acting as mentors to students by using Profound Gentlemen’s own social-emotional learning scope and sequence model. The organization has helped 150 male educators of color and almost 3,000 boys of color with their respective journeys in education.


Teach For All congratulates these distinguished Teach For America alumni for the well-deserved honor and for their continued efforts, success and inspirational commitment to ensuring that all children and young adults have the education, support and opportunity to fulfill their potential.  We look forward in continuing to follow their exciting careers and innovations in the future.

View the complete list of Forbes 30 Under 30 in the 20 different categories.

Learn more about the Teach For America’s 30 Under 30 honorees.

Educators across the Teach For All network are helping students stay safe and continue to learn during the COVID-19 pandemic.