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A group of Social Innovation Award Winners

The Arthur & Toni Rembe Rock Social Innovation Award recognizes bold, new innovations that expand opportunities for students in low-income communities and address the root causes of educational inequity.

About the Social Innovation Award

This annual competition brings together alumni and corps member, early-stage entrepreneurs to compete for up to $100,000 in funding to accelerate social ventures focused on eliminating barriers to educational equity and excellence.

Winners also have the opportunity to build their network by working alongside a supportive community of social innovation leaders and receive national and local recognition through Teach For America.

We believe systemic change is necessary to reach educational equity. This requires both individual and collective leadership. To that end, we have expanded the award to celebrate both individual and teams of entrepreneurs who are working together to expand opportunities for students.

Watch Our Informational Webinar

Learn about the application and selection process, and how the award has impacted the professional trajectory of our alumni. Watch the webinar.

Honoring Arthur & Toni Rembe Rock

This award was renamed in honor of Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock, fierce advocates of educational equity and excellence and two of Teach For America’s greatest champions. As a pioneer in the innovation sector who is credited for giving rise to Silicon Valley, Arthur has spurred an entrepreneurial culture at TFA and has been a key driver of our social entrepreneurship and innovation work. Toni has left an indelible mark on the legal profession as the first woman to be named partner at a major law firm in California and continues to be a leading advocate of equity through her philanthropic work. 

The Arthur & Toni Rembe Rock Social Innovation Award will usher a new era of leaders working to improve the lives of students across the country.


To be considered for the award, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a current Teach For America alum or corps member. If you are applying as a team, the primary applicant must be a current corps member or alum. Primary applicants may invite up to 5 alumni or non-alumni co-founders to collaborate on the team application. 
  • Be the founder or co-founder of your venture.
  • Have a bold venture that contributes toward ending educational inequity within the United States. All business models (for-profit, non-profit, and hybrid) are eligible to apply. 
  • Have not been awarded financial support for the venture from the overall track in the past. Prior pre-pilot track winners and all finalists are eligible to apply. 
  • ​Have not raised and/or earned more than $500,000 in collective revenue.

New school models are not eligible for the 2020 award. Teach For America and our partners value this work and have other programs that are better aligned to evaluate and support the launch of new school models. Please email to learn more.

The 2020 application is closed. The 2021 application will open in the fall of 2020.

Award Process

Stage 1: Online Application

Candidates must complete the online application by 11:59 PM PST on January 20, 2020. You will be informed of your application status on February 14, 2020.

Stage 2: Video Pitch and Supplemental Questions

Select applicants will be invited to submit a video pitch and business model. Submissions will be due by February 28, 2020

Stage 3: Semi-Finalists Interviews

Select applicants will be invited to participate in virtual interviews with our selection committee between April 6-13, 2020

Stage 4: Final Round Interview Day

Finalists will participate in the final round interview day that will involve multiple interviews and feedback sessions with our judging panel on May 12, 2020. Winners will be announced in June, 2020.

Winners Receive 

Access to Capital - Winners will receive up to $100,000 in funding to advance game-changing solutions for kids and communities. 

Networking Opportunities - The final round interview day includes a celebratory dinner in the Bay Area to honor our finalists' hard work, passion, and innovation. Finalists have the opportunity to network with leaders within the social entrepreneur community and receive national and local recognition. 

Access to a Community of Innovators - Finalists have a unique opportunity to join a community of like-minded innovators in a field that often feels siloed and competitive. This network includes past winners and finalists, supporters, and friends, all committed to empowering and inspiring the next generation of innovators and leaders.

Frequently Asked Questions

Have additional questions? Please email us directly at

Our Team's Mission

Teach For America’s Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation team inspires, accelerates, and invests in alumni and corps members who are growing and strengthening the movement for educational equity and excellence through careers in innovation and entrepreneurship. 

Past Award Winners