Forbes Features Gratitude Network’s 2020 Fellows
Nationally, only 17% of low-income 4th graders are reading proficiently; not coincidentally, only 9% earn a college degree. Springboard Collaborative closes the literacy gap by coaching families and teachers. Click here to read more.
Former Gratitude Network Fellow Ubongo, a Tanzanian-based company which creates fun, localized and multi-platform educational media that reaches millions of African families through television and the webs, has won the Next Billion Edtech Prize, an award launched by The Varkey Foundation to recognize innovative technology that can have an impact on education in low income and emerging world countries.
The second-ever class of Obama Foundation Fellows are a diverse set of leaders who model the powerful truth that each of us has a role to play in civic life. They’re building cultures of entrepreneurship in neighborhoods that need it most. They’re protecting our environment and ensuring we can live sustainably for generations to come. They’re showing the world that criminal justice can be restorative justice. And they’re proving that our most disadvantaged and disconnected communities can also be our most vital and innovative.
Get to know the 2019 class of Obama Foundation Fellows below and learn more about the Fellowship program here!
CHICAGO —Brian Hill lives an audacious mission: He’s out to save 2.3 million people from “The Jerry Springer Show.” That’s the population now held in America’s prisons and jails. And for Hill, the tawdry slapstick of Springer’s shout show exemplifies what’s wrong with prison: Prisoners have so much time on their hands that they fill with empty distraction — including hours, days and years of daytime TV — rather than anything constructive. That waste of human potential appalls him.
Six years ago, Hill embraced the task of inducing prisoners to reach for more than the channel selector. He founded Edovo, a Chicago-based company that equips incarcerated men and women with tablet computers. Those tablets help prisoners learn everything from how to read to what evidence supports the Big Bang theory of cosmic origins.
As a pediatrician working in the Bay View-Hunter’s Point neighborhood of San Francisco, Nadine Burke Harrisnoticed that the children who came to her clinic with health problems—including ADHD, asthma, and eczema—had histories of severe adversity. Her research has shown that exposure to violence and stress affects the developing brains and bodies of children, resulting in increased instances of substance dependence, impulse control, engagement in high-risk behavior, and heart disease or cancer. In response to her findings, Harris founded the Center for Youth Wellness which provides care coordination, mental health services, nutrition, holistic interventions, and medication when necessary. She is the author of The Deepest Well: Healing the Long-Term Effects of Childhood Adversity.
Indre Viskontas is a cognitive neuroscientist at University of California, San Francisco and on the faculty at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. She has published groundbreaking work on the neural basis of memory and creativity and is co-host of the podcast Inquiring Minds. Her forthcoming book, How Music Can Make You Better, comes out Spring 2019.