Unrest at Beth’s placement school meant she needed to be innovative with her lessons to break through the distractions. When she asked students to research programs that matched their passions, they became incredibly engaged. That year she ran a marathon and raised money to send seven of her students to the programs they wrote about. The impact this had on her students was incredible, and she knew she wanted to do this on a larger scale. She founded Wishbone.org, which gives low-income students access to great summer programs that inspire them to redefine their future and pursue their passions. Beth is a Kauffman Labs Education Ventures Fellow, a Draper Richards Kaplan Entrepreneur, a Bluhm/ Helfand Social Innovation Fellow, and was celebrated twice on Forbes’ “30 Under 30” list for her work in education. She was honored by the World Economic Forum as a “Global Shaper.” In 2014, she was honored on the GOOD 100 list of top "people pushing the world forward through doing."
Q & A
Growing up, I benefited from attending great schools and was encouraged to pursue my personal passion: competitive figure skating. I realized how important a well-rounded education is, and once I became aware that so many students don’t have access to this, I wanted to get involved.
During the corps, my students became really engaged when they were able to research programs related to their passions. I raised money so that some students could attend these programs, and the outpouring of support made me realize that I could turn this into something that would benefit many more.
In my classroom and in my organization, students come first. There are many similarities between teaching and building an organization. You must be bold, set ambitious goals, invest people, and help them develop. You must innovate and change your approach based on challenges and opportunities.