Daily Archives: March 21, 2010

Help select a winning teen social entrepreneur

Ashoka Youth Venture and Best Buy Children’s Foundation have teamed up to create the @15 Community Impact Challenge. Ashoka is known around the world as the institution that coined the term social entrepreneurship and has been actively supporting social entrepreneurs for nearly 30 years. Ashoka’s Youth Venture works to encourage this spirit of innovation and social entrepreneurship in young people. With Ashoka’s Youth Venture’s support youngsters design and launch their own social ventures to target social issues and challenges.

The Best Buy Children’s Foundation hopes to empower teens at the most critical time of their lives – early adolescence. Its @15 programs provide teens with a platform to affect social change. @15 working together with Ashoka’s Youth Venture has created the Community Impact Challenge. Youth teams from around the nation applied to enter the competition. A set of 15 finalists was chosen based on an assessment of their potential for community impact and a vision of how they would create sustainable change. Continue reading

Akanksha – engaging children in education

Akanksha Classroom

Typical Akanksha Classroom

Last year we had the chance to host Vandana Goyal and Ruchika Gupta from Akanksha when they visited Boston. Over the years we had heard of the wonderful work this NGO had been doing in India and it was great to hear about their plans for expansion when they presented to a small group of interested folks at MIT. When we decided to visit India around December, we made sure that we had set aside some time to visit Akanksha at one of their facilities.    

Twenty years ago, the first Akanksha center opened for children from the slum communities of Mumbai, an innovative after school program designed to provide them with fun, engaging learning opportunities. Founded by Shaheen Mistri at the age of 18, these centers develop children’s English language fluency as well as equip them to go on to college, attain a good job and become change agents in their communities. Today, over 80% of Akanksha children go on to college to begin professional careers compared to only 30% of Indian children who successfully complete the 10th grade.     Continue reading