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Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

The Educate! Experience – A trendsetting program that equips students (Educate! Scholars) in their last two years of high school (A levels) in Uganda to create social enterprises.  To assist Scholars in the creation of a social enterprise Educate! provides: 1. A trendsetting two-hour per week, two-year curriculum on leading social change and transforming communities developed with the help of Educate!’s worldwide advisors and partner organizations; 2. Guidance and encouragement each week from a highly qualified Ugandan Mentor; and 3. A life-long alumni network of like-minded peers.

 Educate! Scholars: 15-20 Scholars at each partner school are selected using a multiple-phase process to evaluate their motivation and potential to lead change in their communities.

 Educate! Mentors: Recent graduates of Ugandan universities, each Mentor is rigorously selected and completes a three-month, full-time preparation, called the Induction, prior to teaching Educate!’s curriculum and guiding Scholars through the creation of a social enterprise. Each Mentor is placed at 4 partner schools and commits two years to Educate!.

 Alumni Network: Upon completing the Experience, Scholars and Mentors join a strong alumni network to provide long-term mentoring and social change resources. The alumni network consists of an online social network, career connections, gatherings based on interests, and yearly reunions. 

 Partner Schools: Educate! carefully selects diverse partner schools based on the school’s initiative to go beyond teaching to the memorization-based national exam. Educate!’s partner schools agree to incorporate Educate!’s curriculum and the creation of a social enterprise into their normal class schedule.


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Plot 22 Church Road

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What stage is your project in?

Operating for 1-5 years

YouTube Upload

<object width="400" height="300"><param name="allowfullscreen" value="true" /><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><param name="movie" value=" /><embed src=" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" width="400" height="300"></embed></object><p><a href="">Educate! Intro</a> from <a href="">Educate!</a> on <a href="">Vimeo</a>.</p>

What is the average monthly household income in your target community, in US Dollars?


Describe your idea in fewer than 50 words.

Educate! empowers the next generation of socially responsible leaders in Africa by teaching a two-year curriculum on leading social change, providing long-term mentoring, and creating an alumni network to equip high school students across Uganda to start and scale social enterprises.

What makes your idea unique?

Rather than building a single highly powerful school (as do African Leadership Academy in South Africa and Cornerstone Leadership Academy in East Africa) or developing a leadership or social entrepreneurship program outside of the formal education system (as do LEAD, Starting Bloc, and Posse), Educate! works within existing schools. Educate! takes the most effective components (namely the curriculum, mentoring, and alumni networks) of top schools and programs around the world and brings them to existing schools across Uganda. Within these schools Educate! is able to accomplish a similar mission to a leadership academy or social entrepreneurship program, however, we incorporate the creation of a social enterprise, social change curriculum, and long-term mentoring into the education system itself. Educate!’s approach allows the organization to: 1. Reach a much larger number of students; and 2. Build the capacity of the school system from within.

Unlike other organizations, Educate!’s program introduces a practical component of student-run social enterprises. The experience Scholars gain with social entrepreneurship equips the next generation to identify opportunities to address community challenges in effective, innovative, and sustainable ways.

Finally Educate! creates systemic impact on the education system. Teach for America Corps members witness educational inequality and are assisted by an alumni network to work to end the achievement gap. Rather than teaching the standard curriculum, Educate! Mentors teach Educate!’s innovative leadership curriculum while empowering Scholars through close mentoring. Like TFA Corps members, Mentors, upon completing their two-year commitment, are assisted by an alumni network to become socially responsible leaders and build on Educate!’s model to transform the rote memorization based education system to a system which empowers students to lead social change.

What is your area of work? (Please check as many as apply.)

Children & Youth , Education , Education reform , Mentorship , Youth development , Youth leadership , Mentorship , Social Enterprise , Sustainable development , Mentoring , Youth leadership.

What impact have you had?

Educate! began in 2002 as a U.S. student-led organization that provides scholarships, mentoring, and focused leadership seminars to a small group of students in Kyangwali Refugee Settlement, Uganda as a means of enabling refugees to solve the challenges facing their community and homeland, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Since our inception, the 22 Educate! Scholarship Students have started numerous social enterprises in Kyangwali including: an orphanage for 40 children, two hostels that send over 60 refugees to school, an anti-violence group for women victim to physical and sexual violence, and a community organization of over 200 members. The Educate! Scholarship Students have directly impacted over 9,000 refugees and created tens of thousands of dollars in value for their community, and have already started to replicate their innovative solutions in the DRC.

Educate! empowered a small group of committed students to take great strides to transform their refugee settlement. We learned from the Scholarship Students that it was the actual process of creating the social enterprises coupled with the mentoring and leadership seminars Educate! provided that effectively empowered the students to become socially responsible leaders and transform their community.

To create the Educate! Experience, Educate! concentrated the most effective
aspects of our scholarship model (namely the mentoring, leadership coaching, and experience leading social change) into a coherent program that is being incorporated into the education system.

415 Educate! Scholars, led by 7 Mentors, at 24 diverse partner schools in six geographic clusters across Uganda are currently participating in the Educate! Experience. Even though the curriculum only launched on March 4 of 2009, already Scholars at 12 of the 24 partner schools have started to create social enterprises in their communities ranging from a vegetable selling business to increase nutrition among the student body to a social enterprise that trains widows in the community to make jewelry as a source of income.

Describe the primary problem(s) that your project is addressing.

Educate! believes that the greatest injustice facing Africa is not poverty, ethnic violence, corruption, AIDS, or even the lack of access to education. Rather, the most profound problem Africa faces is the failure of education systems to empower youth as socially responsible leaders to solve these challenges. Consequently, a generation from now—despite Africa’s rich natural and human resources and even generous international aid—devastating social, political, economic, and environmental problems will only be magnified.

Of 45 representative students surveyed by Educate!, 89% already do, or plan to do work to help their community and 67% give a mission or vision for their lives that involves bettering society. Yet, Al Samarrai and Bennell show 54% of secondary school graduates in Uganda do not agree that their secondary education “equipped them with the necessary knowledge and skills.” After 13 years of education requiring the investment of a significant portion of their families’ limited income, students are left with a dilemma: Graduates can easily recite facts, like the regions of Germany, but are not prepared to lead the change that will solve the greatest challenges facing their communities.

Educate! bridges the gap between the desire of students to lead change in their communities and the absence of preparation they receive towards this end in secondary school. In doing so, Educate! can create a significant shift in the ability of the next generation to develop internally driven solutions to the pressing challenges facing Uganda.

Describe the steps that your organization is taking to make your project successful.

Educate! is focusing on four primary steps to best ensure success of our program:

The first step is maintaining quality amongst Educate!’s Mentors and support staff:

The impact the Educate! Scholars create in their community is largely dependent on the quality of mentoring and teaching Educate!’s Mentors can provide. To ensure selection of the most well qualified Mentors, Educate! went through an extensive recruiting process. At each of the major universities in Uganda we recruited potential Mentors by speaking with the Dean of students, hanging up posters on campus, and asking other faculty and advisors for recommendations of qualified candidates. In addition we advertized the position in the national papers. Our recruiting process brought in well over 200 applicants.

To narrow down this pool to the applicants most well qualified for the job, Educate! developed an innovative and rigorous three phase selection process that tested applicants ability to write, think, and act on the key concepts of mentorship and social entrepreneurship. In the first phase, all 200 applicants completed a written application consisting of five essay questions. The best 40 applicants were invited for a one-on-one interview, which included a mock mentoring and teaching session. Finally, 30 of the most well-qualified were chosen to return for the third phase interviews: day-long, group interviews (10 applicants per interview). In the group interview, the applicants gave pre-made presentations about leadership principles, participated in fun activities, ate lunch with Educate!’s staff and original Scholarship Students, were given the chance to interact with Educate!’s pilot Scholars and key teachers at our partner schools, and finally were asked to complete a “community drop” in which applicants spent the afternoon in a slum in Kampala with the goal of developing a business plan for a social enterprise by interviewing residents, surveying the needs of the community, and developing a viable social enterprise which was presented to the group. After the third phase interview, the seven most highly qualified Mentors were hired, including two back-up Mentors to ensure continuity of programs with any Mentor attrition.

After selection, Mentors and back-ups completed a three-month, full-time, comprehensive Induction which prepares Mentors to teach Educate!’s curriculum and gives the Mentors practice mentoring and as social entrepreneurs. In addition, the Induction conveys an understanding of the values on which Educate! is built: personal leadership, ethical action, powerful relationships, innovation, and exponential empowerment.

Also to ensure quality of the Mentors, Educate! has implemented a strong support structure to enable the Mentors to do their job successfully. The first component of the Mentor support structure revolves around a weekly meeting. One day each week, Mentors meet as a group with Educate!’s program staff, eat breakfast together, talk about challenges, provide each other peer support, share lessons learned, and prepare for the coming week. The second component is a professional development plan for each Mentor that is based on a set of 21 action points on which the Mentors are graded and supported as they improve. The third component is weekly site visits in which support staff and back-up Mentors sit in on the Mentors’ classes to analyze action points for each Mentor and provide peer support. The fourth component is a 1-2 week long Mentor supplemental training which occurs during the vacations between terms. The supplemental trainings provide our support staff a chance to work with Mentors on specific action points. The fifth component is to maintain motivation of the Mentors and provide recognition for their work. Each term, awards are given based on Mentors’ accomplishments and they are given the chance to appear in Educate!’s monthly magazine.

In addition to developing, preparing, and supporting a strong team of Mentors – and equally important – Educate! has developed a strong support staff team within Uganda. Our country director and program director work to support and oversee the Mentors, design the program for the Mentor Induction, build our relationships with each partner school, complete all necessary administrative tasks (from accounting to staff health insurance), and set goals for the programs each month. Our country director and program director each have compelling personal reasons for their belief in Educate!’s mission and method. Their motivation and vision is manifested in the quality of support they provide the Mentors, which in turn translates into the quality of interaction and relationship between the Mentors and Scholars, ultimately enabling the Scholars to lead transformative change in their communities.

The second step is to effectively design the social change curriculum we teach such that it maximizes the impact our students can make in their communities:

In order to develop our 2 year, 72 hour curriculum, Educate! synthesized curricula from what we believe are the most effective social change and leadership organizations. We gathered crucial resources from African Leadership Academy in South Africa, Cornerstone in East Africa, and The Posse Foundation, Transformative Action Institute, and Ashoka to develop Educate!’s trendsetting curriculum.

Educate! incorporates advice from our Uganda advisory board, partner schools, and Mentors to tailor and refine the curriculum to the Ugandan context.

The third step involves creating a strong proof of concept of Educate!’s potential to empower the next generation of socially responsible leaders:

Starting in August 2007, Educate! piloted the Experience at one partner school, St. Mary’s College Kisubi. The pilot Scholars designed, funded, and implemented an innovative social enterprise pig keeping business to provide school fees for a deserving child in their community.

Both the pilot Scholars at St. Mary’s, one of the most privileged schools in Uganda, and the original Scholarship Students from Kyangwali Refugee Settlement establishes a strong foundation for the potential of Educate! to empower students across socioeconomic class to lead social change.

In order to further refine our model, Educate! has established two key metrics for the program: 1. A pre and post curriculum survey given to the Scholars, and 2. A measurement of social return on investment via a valuation of Scholars’ social enterprises. The valuation of the Scholars’ initiatives is based on an estimate of how much it would cost an external party to create a similar venture (instead we empower Scholars to create the venture). For example, if Scholars clean 10 wells in their community, they might be providing a service which would cost $10,000. Yet if it only costs Educate! $1,000 per Scholar who goes through the Experience, our SROI is 10 fold.

Educate! measures these two metrics for both the Scholars who go through Educate!’s program and a set of controls (students starting at a similar baseline, but who do not go through Educate!’s program). By establishing a solid baseline in this manner, Educate! is able to clearly measure the value added by our program.

Furthermore, we have developed metrics for Mentors, Scholars, and program staff and are working to align the metrics such that the goals for the organization at large are matched to the mission. Clear metrics for each individual in the organization, allow us to monitor and refine the programs as we work to establish proof of concept on a systemic scale.

The fourth step is to create solid communication both internally and externally to ensure success of Educate!’s work:

Internally, Educate! has in place a communication plan to ensure consistent learning and knowledge sharing between the board, executive director, and field staff.

Externally, our communication with stakeholders (students, teachers, and administration at partner schools), relevant individuals, collaborating organizations, and other institutions such as the government of Uganda have been key to the development of our programs.

First, during the idea generation phase in from August 2007-June 2008 Educate! held over 450 meetings with organizations, individuals, and schools worldwide; received consultation from Educate!’s highly experienced advisory boards in the U.S. and Uganda; gained first-hand experience teaching in the Ugandan education system; and had numerous illuminating conversations with the Scholarship Students about what Educate! did to effectively empower them to become leaders in their community.

Second, Educate! interacts closely with each partner school to increase the investment of the key stakeholders in the school (faculty, administration, and students) in Educate!’s program. Before signing a contract with each partner school, Educate! held a series of six key meetings and developed close relationships with three key teachers who help the Mentor incorporate Educate!’s program into the culture of the school. In addition, Educate! holds day long seminars for the faculty and administration of each partner school to 1. Help the teachers and administration to understand the goals of Educate!’s program, and 2. Encourage the teachers and administration to support the work of the Educate! Scholars and discuss ways to incorporate the program into the classes and other extracurricular activities within the school.

Third, Educate! is working to build our relationship with the government via two main bodies: the Ministry of Education and the National Curriculum Development Center (NCDC). The Ministry of Education has already issued a letter of support for Educate!’s work and the NCDC has expressed their support during one-on-one meetings.

Fourth, Educate! maintains consistent communication with our advisory board in Uganda of leaders of relevant organizations, founders of schools, and other individuals able to provide Educate! with local advice about our programs and how they fit into the context of Uganda. We are in touch with each member of the advisory board individually on a regular basis and have approximately two group meetings of the board per year.

Finally, Educate!’s staff holds meetings with organizations around the world doing similar work who can provide mentoring and advice as we develop and expand our program design, curriculum, and funding sources. Through our communication with organizations on the cutting-edges of their fields (whether that be program evaluation or program design), we are able to incorporate best practices into our work and be as innovative as possible. Some examples of organizations that have been extremely helpful recently include: African Leadership Academy (South Africa), Private Education Development Network (Uganda), Cornerstone (East Africa), Afroeducare (Uganda), Teach for America (US), SAGE (worldwide), Junior Achievement (worldwide), Tech Stars (US), and Peace Games (US).

The internal and external communication Educate! maintains enables the organization to learn from best practices around the world, share this information within the organization, and create a highly effective program.

What will it take for your project to be successful over the next three years? Success in Year 1:

We are consistently working to adapt and modify our curriculum, which is a living document. During our weekly Mentor support meetings and in-class visits we incorporate advice from the Mentors and observations of what works and what doesn’t work into the curriculum on a real-time basis. In addition, we rely heavily on our network of trusted advisors and partner organizations in Uganda, the US and elsewhere (especially Educate!’s Uganda advisory board) to gain higher level guidance and direction for the curriculum. Our constant effort to modify the curriculum along with the solid foundation of resources we have received from the generous organizations mentioned above, help ensure that Educate!’s curriculum will effectively equip the Scholars with the skills and knowledge needed to lead the change that will solve the greatest challenges facing their communities.

As we refine the curriculum, we must maintain clear understanding of and consensus around the desired outcomes of the curriculum. Our Scholar metrics and building out the method of measuring of social return on investment will allow us to do this.

In addition, we are working to modify the models for the Mentor recruitment and Induction. For example, this coming year we will be implementing a teacher training program that will also serve as the Mentor recruitment and part of the Induction, while providing teachers across Uganda with the ability to empower their students to lead change.

Finally, we will need to raise the financial support to cover the expenses associated with the program by pursuing the seven key avenues of revenue outlined in our fundraising plan: grants, expanding the board of directors, energizing donor base of over 600 supporters, organizing events, expanding Educate!’s US student clubs, developing two streams of earned income in Uganda, and finally working with governmental and multinational organizations (World Bank, UN, USAID, DFID, and the government of Uganda).

Success in Year 2:

A key factor of success in year 2 will be to monitor the results of our Scholars. We will need to continue to refine and adapt our methods for determining social return on investment and we are looking into working with an external evaluator to measure Educate!’s results.

We will continue to build our relationship with the government, focusing on the Ministry of Education and National Curriculum Development Center. As we incorporate our work into the education system and potentially look to the government of Uganda as a source of funding, the government’s recognition that Educate!’s program is a solid investment in the next generation is crucial.

Finally, we need to build our relationships with large scale funders including foundations and international organizations such as the World Bank, UN, USAID, and DFID as we prepare to scale the programs in year 3.

Success in Year 3:

In year 3 we will be looking to begin scaling Educate!’s program. The key to successful scaling will be maintaining quality. We need to have in place solid Mentor recruitment, selection, Induction, and support processes in order to maintain the quality of Mentors. In addition, clear metrics must be in place so that we can quickly respond to a dip in quality. Most importantly, the decision to expand in year 3, and each subsequent year, will be dependent on a positive answer to the question of whether it is possible to expand without a decrease in quality.

Also key to the success of Educate!’s program in year 3 will be the successful implementation of the alumni network as this will be the first year we have Scholar and Mentor alumni. We have developed an outline of the network which is based on two-primary components: 1. An online social network that will provide alumni Scholars and Mentors with social change resources, job opportunities, and an opportunity to provide continued mentoring and peer support, and 2. Meetings on a regular basis organized around specific interest groups (i.e. business, social entrepreneurship, education, health, etc), in addition to a yearly reunion for all alumni. It will be necessary to secure the required human, technological, and financial resources to organize the alumni network successfully in year 3.

Finally, in year 3, we will be looking at several transitions of staff. In addition to the yearly turn-over of Mentors, Educate!’s country director and program directors’ commitment will finish. We will bring on replacements after a thorough selection process, keeping in mind that Mentor alumni may be the best candidates.

Do you have a business plan or strategic plan? (yes/no)


What are the three most important actions needed to grow your initiative or organization? STEP 1:

As Educate! grows, we must first establish proof of concept by fine tuning our program model and developing the capacity to measure the value Scholars are creating for their communities. In order to develop proof of concept, we need to continue to adjust and refine the curriculum; Mentor recruitment, selection, Induction, and support processes; align metrics for Scholars, Mentors, and support staff; and solidify our system of measuring results via the pre and post course survey and value of the initiatives Scholars create to provide an accurate estimate of social return on investment.

What are the three most important actions needed to grow your initiative or organization? STEP 2:

After the proof of concept is developed, we need to scale our funding as we expand the programs. To do so, we will further develop Educate!’s six key fundraising channels to meet our goals of $175,000 in 2009 and $250,000 in 2010:

Grants: We are applying to numerous foundations, building our relationships with larger scale foundation funders, and have recently been awarded the DoSomething Award and Echoing Green Fellowship.

Board of Directors: We are expanding our board of directors, one key purpose of which is to contribute and help garner the resources necessary to scale.

Donor Base: Energizing and mobilizing Educate!’s base of over 500 supporters through events, email newsletters, blog posts, and our semi-annual mailings.

Earned Income: Educate! is pursuing two areas of earned income: 1. A career guidance course that the backup mentors are helping to facilitate based on the curriculum for the Experience, and 2. A teacher training program that will double as a selection process for the Mentors.

Student Clubs: Educate! student clubs at high schools and colleges across the US and Canada have held creative fundraisers ranging from a climb up Mt. Kilimanjaro, to a dodgeball tournament, and walk across Spain.

Events: Several events are being planned including a Scholar speaking tour.

Governmental and multinational organizations: Developing our relationships with the government of Uganda and international organizations such as the UN, USAID, DFID, and World Bank as potential funders.

What are the three most important actions needed to grow your initiative or organization? STEP 3:

Finally, as Educate! expands it will be of top priority to maintain quality, and if necessary limit expansion to ensure quality does not decrease with growth. To do so, we will continue to refine and closely monitor our program metrics. In addition, we will improve our Mentor support and professional development systems, and do the same for our support staff. Finally, we are in the early stages of analyzing and identifying the key characteristics of quality Mentors and Scholars (top grading) which will enable us to more systematically identify the individuals who will be most invested in and impacted by Educate!’s work.

Describe the expected results of these actions.

First, we will succeed at incorporating our work into the education system itself. This will be manifested in several ways: 1. The culture and curriculum of our partner schools will shift from a rote memorization based education to one which empowers students to lead change in their communities. This will be a result of support received from the administration, faculty, and students at each school for Educate!’s work. We have already seen this process start as one school incorporated questions about social entrepreneurship based on Educate!’s curriculum into an examination. 2. Upon finishing their two-year commitment, Mentor alumni will be informed by their experience with both Educate! and the rote memorization based system to work to reform the system either internally (as a teacher, administrator, or government official) or externally (with an NGO or social enterprise). 3. We will see the government begin to incorporate Educate!’s mentoring based teaching method and social change curriculum into the education system itself as we are able to establish tangible evidence that Educate!’s work is a better investment in the next generation than the current rote-memorization based system.

Second, as we effectively empower the next generation of socially responsible leaders, Educate! will begin to build a brand within Uganda facilitating the expansion of the organization and incorporation into the education system. It will be easier to gain buy-in from the schools we work with and a strong reputation will provide legitimacy for local and international funding from foundations, corporations, and governmental or intergovernmental institutions.

Third, if we can accomplish the goals outlined in the previous questions, it will facilitate the building and maintaining of a strong team. Crucial to Educate!’s success is a strong local staff with low-turnover that embodies the values and culture of the organization. A strong reputation and well respected brand name within Uganda will enable the organization to find and keep the highest quality Mentors, support staff, and organizational leadership thus maximizing the positive impact created by the Educate! Scholars in their communities and country at large.

Finally, Educate!’s Scholars will create systemic social change across Uganda. Scholars will be driving the social, economic, and political development of their communities through the social enterprises they lead.

What was the defining moment that led you to this innovation?

I was 17 when I met Benson Olivier, a refugee from the Democratic Republic of the Congo of 18 years, in Kyangwali Refugee Settlement, Uganda. Sitting in his home, a small mud hut, Benson told me how he lost his parents, fled to Kyangwali, and worked to overcome numerous challenges. I asked him what I could do to help. Benson asked for only an education so he could solve the challenges faced by his community and homeland. From his insightful words, I started Educate! with a mission to empower the next generation of socially responsible leaders in Africa.

Tell us about the social innovator behind this idea.

Eric Glustrom is the founder and executive director of Educate!. He graduated from Fairview High School in Boulder Colorado in 2003 and then from Amherst College in Massachusetts in 2007 where he majored in biochemistry and ran track and cross country.

Throughout his last year of high school and college, Eric worked to build Educate! by fundraising and spending time in Uganda each summer. Upon graduation, Eric and his classmate, Boris Bulayev, went to Uganda together to set the direction of the organization going forward. Over the next year and half Eric spearheaded the development of the Educate! Experience, which launched on March 4. Eric now spends his time between Uganda and the US serving as the executive director.

Over the past six years and living part-time in Uganda, Eric has built strong relationships with the Educate! scholarship students (prior to launching the Experience, Educate! provided scholarships to refugees from Kyangwali, beginning with Benson). He has learned from their friendship, remarkable leadership in Kyangwali, and numerous all night conversations in their homes, school dorm rooms, and elsewhere how the relationships Educate! built have led to their remarkable success in taking on the challenges faced by their community. The sequence of relationships, empowerment, leadership is inspired by all he has learned from the Educate! scholarship students. Now, Educate! catalyzes the sequence of relationships, empowerment, leadership with students across Uganda.

His ongoing relationship with a network of advisors and partner organizations in Uganda, the US, South Africa, and elsewhere gives him unique insight into the nature of Educate!’s work. Most notably, he has learned numerous lessons from his partnership with Boris Bulayev, Educate!’s chairman, and received valuable mentoring from the Cornerstone family and Educate!’s Uganda advisory board.

Perhaps most importantly, seeing the Educate! scholarship students become leaders and take great strides to transform Kyangwali Refugee Settlement gives him a deep appreciation for the power of students and the potential of Educate!. As a result of Educate!’s success with the original scholarship students in Kyangwali, Eric has a profound sense of responsibility to develop and expand the Experience in order to empower the next generation of socially responsible leaders – the foundation on which a peaceful and just Africa will be built.

Eric likes skiing of all kinds, is reportedly very good at catching food in his mouth, and enjoys discussing social change.

How did you first hear about Changemakers?

Through Ashoka’s website.

What would prevent your project from being a success?

The primary obstacle to success Educate! will face is the investment of five key stakeholders:

First, we must make the vision and mission of the organization clear to the Educate! Scholars so they understand that it is the mission of the organization to help them to lead change in their own lives, their communities and country. Without an understanding of the goals of the organization, curriculum, and mentoring Educate! provides, the change Scholars lead will be greatly limited.

Second, the Mentors, like the Scholars, must be on board with the vision of the organization, and specifically gain a deep understanding of the power of students and their role as a mentor to the students. The recruiting and selection process, Induction, and Mentor support system must therefore remain of the highest quality even with expansion.

Third, Educate! must build a solid team of support staff who provide the crucial oversight, structure, and support for the Mentors and carry the values and culture of the organization from one team of Mentors to the next as each subsequent class of Mentors graduates.

Fourth, the partner schools Educate! works with and specifically each key stakeholder within the partner schools (administration, teachers, and student body), must be invested in Educate!’s program and understand the desired outcomes. Educate!’s systematic process for building relationships with stakeholders at each partner school combined with the daylong institute we hold for faculty and staff of each school will be crucial to success.

Finally, Educate! must continue to build our relationship with the government of Uganda if we are to accomplish our goal of incorporating our work into the education system itself. Without the government’s buy-in we will be fighting an uphill battle to incorporate our work into the system. On the other hand, if the government recognizes that the form of education Educate! provides is the best investment in the next generation, our work to incorporate a social change curriculum and mentoring based teaching method into the system will be greatly facilitated by the government through national curriculum modification and financial support.

Financing source


If yes, provide organization name.


How long has this organization been operating? (i.e. less than a year; 1-5 years; more than 5 years)

More than 5 years.

Does your organization have a Board of Directors or an Advisory Board?

Yes, the members of Educate!’s board of director, Uganda advisory board and US advisory board are listed below:

Board of Directors

Tim Armour
Tim Armour is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund. Tim served for fifteen years as executive director and later executive vice president of the JASON Foundation for Education, a nonprofit organization committed to improving science and math motivation and performance among middle school students in the US. Tim’s earlier career includes start-up and executive roles in business as well as the senior external relations and fundraising official at Harvard Business School, and fundraising and alumni relations at Amherst College.

Tim earned his BA in Political Science from Amherst College, an MA in Political Science from the University of Massachusetts, and the MBA from Harvard Business School.

Boris Bulayev (Chairman)
A 2007 alumni of Amherst College, Boris focuses on higher level strategic issues for Educate!. During the summer of 2007, he spearheaded the development of Educate!’s new leadership program and made connections with countless individuals in the government, non-governmental organizations, and schools. Those connections have proven invaluable as we develop, expand, and begin to implement the leadership program. Prior to graduating Amherst, Boris was co-executive director of the organization with Eric.
Boris grew up in San Francisco, California and recently left his job at startup incubator Loeb Enterprises to spend more time on Educate! and pursue other entrepreneurial ventures.

Angela Thieman Dino
Angela received her B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Colorado at Boulder. As a cultural anthropologist her research has focused on human rights and youth in post-war Bosnia-Herzegovina and on African-American middle-school girls in urban Denver. She has enjoyed integrating her anthropological and human rights interests in local and international work as an educator and community organizer. She has participated in founding several non-profit organizations and has served on the Board of Directors of local and national human rights, human services, and development organizations, including Amnesty International USA and the Rocky Mountain Survivors Center (serving survivors of torture living in Colorado). Angela has served as a longtime mentor to Educate!’s staff and lives in Denver with her husband, Brian, and young children, Dante and Lia.

Eric Glustrom
Eric founded Educate! in 2002 after meeting several refugees in Kyangwali Refugee Settlment, Uganda of his age, 17, that did not have the means to pay for their education. Realizing that an education was the only way for these refugees to solve the challenges facing Kyangwali, Eric decided to help. He founded Educate! soon after he returned home. He graduated from Fairview High School in Boulder, Colorado in 2003 and then from Amherst College in 2007.
He now lives between Uganda and the US working to develop both sides of the organization.

John McDermott
Also a graduate of Amherst College, but of another generation from Boris and Eric, John is a long-time professor at Moravian College and ardent supporter of Educate!. John gives constant advice and support to Eric and Boris and provides valuable direction for the organization. John and his wife Emily reside in Amherst, Massachusetts.

Keren Murumba
Keren grew up in Uganda where she attended school up through Makerere University. After receiving her masters in education policy and curriculum development in Australia in the 1970’s, Keren moved to New York. In New York she has extensive experience teaching students of all levels, most notably at Children’s Storefront, a small private school in the city.
Keren’s background being educated in the Ugandan education system, and her extensive professional experience in education bring a highly valuable perspective to Educate!’s mission and approach.

Rick Pfieffer
Rick is currently Chairman and CEO of AIG’s Consumer Finance Group (CFG). Rick joined AIG in January 2007 and was brought in to fix and grow CFG’s businesses, which are the 19 retail banks and consumer finance companies that AIG owns outside the USA. He brings over 20 years of banking and consumer finance experience covering general management, operations, systems and business development. He has recruited senior talent for functional and business roles in NYC and in the field.

Immediately prior to AIG, Rick worked for 6 years as a founding partner of The Ambertek Group (TAG), which provided advisory services to leading international banks and consulting companies on strategies and tactics to globalize financial service operations. TAG also worked with large private equity companies to acquire outsourced services companies that provided customer contact management and back room processing operations to US and UK corporate clients.

Prior to TAG, Rick was ING’s Head of Consumer and Commercial Banking for Asia-Pacific from 1998 through 2000 and was based in Hong Kong. Before that, he worked for 16 years at GE Capital and GE Information Services.

Rick has a B.A. degree from Amherst College and a MBA from the University of Virginia’s Darden School.

Uganda Advisory Board

Collins Hy Tugumisirize: Collins is the founder and managing director of Afroeducare ( Afroeducare markets Ugandan educational institutions to East Africa and is currently collaborating with the Ministry of Education to develop a secondary school accreditation system in Uganda.

Irene Mutumba: Irene was elected as an Ashoka Fellow in 2005 and has been creating “Young Entrepreneur” Clubs in secondary schools across Uganda where students create and run small business projects. She is also training teachers to create a less regimented classroom and recruits volunteers from business and citizen sectors to participate in the management and growth of the clubs. Her organization is called the Private Education Development Network ( She is a speaker for the Educate! Mentor Induction Training and a future judge for the Educate! Social Entrepreneurship Club Competition.

James Bulenzibuto: James is the Public Relations Officer of Kyambogo University and has experience in leadership training.

Martin Kisawuzi: Martin founded Busiro Community College School and has developed it into a centerpiece of the community. He is the head of credit at Centenary Rural Development Bank Ltd (

Tim Kreutter: Tim is the founder and director of Cornerstone (, an organization that builds highly effective leadership academies in Uganda and Rwanda. Cornerstone’s innovative curriculum unites people of different religions and tribes based on common principles.

Aramanzan Madanda: Aramanzan is a lecturer and coordinator of the Information and Communication Technology Program in the Women and Gender Studies Department at Makerere University. Madanda serves on the board and is a founding member of Mt. Masaba HS in Mbale, Educate!’s primary pilot school. Listen to an interview with Madanda about Educate! that aired on KGNU.

Peter Kasenene: As the Minister of Privatization of the government of Uganda, Peter Kasenene helped oversee the rapid spread of microfinance in Uganda. He has experience as a professor in numerous institutions around the world and now runs the Thomas More Leadership Institute in Kampala, Uganda.

Leslie Weighill: Leslie, a Canadian, is the founder and director of The Real Uganda (, a successful grass-roots volunteer placement organization she started in 2005 that partners with deserving local NGO’s. Her understanding of the Ugandan context as a Westerner who has lived in Uganda is invaluable to Educate!.

Ben Waira: Ben is the administrative manager for MBW Consulting Engineers and is an associate governor of East Africa Rotary.

Jonah Walusimbi: Jonah is an entrepreneur and deputy headmaster of Greenhill Academy, one of Educate!’s partner schools. Greenhill Academy provides a holistic education with a focus on entrepreneurial thinking.

Margaret Wokuri: Margaret is a columnist for the Daily Monitor and is currently on the staff at ACFODE (, an organization working to promote gender equality in Uganda. In addition, Margaret serves on the board and is a founding member of Mt. Masaba High School.

US Advisory Board

Anthony Marx: Anthony Marx, the president of Amherst College, has long believed in the mission, programs, and people behind Educate!. He has encouraged Amherst students to participate in the Educate! internship each summer and worked with the Educate! student club at Amherst. When younger, President Marx helped start Khanya College, a path-breaking school in South Africa designed to serve as a bridge for black students from apartheid K-12 schools into the best universities. He brings a depth of experience to Educate!.

Before coming to Amherst in 2003, President Marx served for 13 years on the faculty at Columbia University, where he was professor and director of undergraduate studies of political science. He is author of three books on nation-building, and has concentrated on South Africa.

Jim Smith: Jim is a Dallas based hedge fund manager who has provided valuable guidance to Educate! since 2005. In addition, he manages Educate!’s Ward Watson Endowment and has connected us with many individuals such as our pro-bono tax consultant.

Edwin Barber III: Ed Barber is Senior Advisor for African Development at GoodWorks International, and has given Educate! great advice on its future growth and development. At Goodworks, he is responsible for working on policy development and analysis, client representation (especially of government clients), business development, and financing issues.

Prior to joining GWI, Ed had a 43 year career with the United States Government. He spent 17 years in the Foreign Service at the U.S. Department of State, and 25 years at the U.S Department of Treasury, including 13 years as head of the Office of African Nations. In that position he was responsible for shaping U.S. economic and financial policies on issues such as debt relief, trade and investment, International Financial Institutions programs, technical assistance issues, and macroeconomic and development policy dialogue at the highest levels of government. He has also played a key role in extended visits to Africa by three successive United States Secretaries of the Treasury.

Trevor Price: Trevor is an accomplished entrepreneur and is currently a partner at GenXL, a venture capital fund. He has been a key mentor for Educate! and his critical insights have led to various improvements in Educate!’s model. Prior to GenXL, Trevor was CEO of Nature Technologies, an outdoor product company. In addition, he has been President and COO of VIE Financial and CEO of Pagoda Corporation.

Beth Heckel: Beth has been a strong supporter of Educate!. After being inspired by several Educate! students to start Project Meds and Nets in Kyangwali Refugee Settlement, she subsequently started her own umbrella non-profit organization called Think Humanity to help the refugees of Kyangwali. She has traveled to Uganda twice and is strongly dedicated to helping the people there.

John Rovegno: John Rovegno was one of the founding employees of Synapse Group, a direct marketing company that sold to Time Warner for a reported $700 million in 2001. John held various roles at the company, including CIO, and was key to the growth of the business. After Synapes, John worked at Loeb Enterprises. He provides valuable advice about various operational and management issues to Educate!’s team.

Jim Heckel: Jim has been a strong supporter of Educate! since September, 2006. In addition to providing valuable advice and direction regarding the structure of the organization, his experience with and ideas on leadership will prove invaluable as Educate! develops our new leadership programs. Jim works with Agilent technologies in Loveland, Colorado. Jim is also on the board of Think Humanity, a non-profit organization working in Kyangwali.

Laura Koch: Laura graciously helped get Educate!’s accounting system set up in 2006 and has reorganized and streamlined the process. In addition, she provides valuable advice from her experience with non-profits and understanding of IRS regulations.

Jim Ellman: Jim, an attorney, has been giving generous pro-bono legal and other advice to Educate! since 2008. Jim is also responsible for introducing members of the Educate! staff to the joy of hiking and running on the beautiful Boulder mountain trails under the stars (allegedly including once in hurricane force winds).

Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with NGOs? (yes/no)


Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with businesses? (yes/no)


The Story
Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with government? (yes/no)


Please tell us more about how these partnerships are critical to the success of your innovation.

Educate!’s partnerships with NGO’s have served primarily to provide direction, advice, and resources as we develop our curriculum. Primarily, Educate! has relied on African Leadership Academy in South Africa, Cornerstone in East Africa (a highly effective organization that unites students of different religions and tribes based on a character development curriculum taught at leadership academies), and Transformative Action Institute and The Posse Foundation in the US. These organizations have been generous with their curricula which has been crucial to our understanding of best practices.

In addition, the organizations above and several organizations in Uganda have been central to the design of Educate!’s program. Our model transforms existing schools by bringing the powerful mentoring and curriculum of leadership academies such as African Leadership Academy and Cornerstone to create systemic change.

Finally, numerous leaders within the NGO community serve on Educate!’s Uganda advisory board. For example, Cornerstone’s founder, Tim Kreutter, consistently provides strategic recommendations and mentoring to Educate!’s staff. Irene Mutumba of the Private Education Development Network also serves on Educate!’s advisory board and has provided great insight into how she has successfully built a small scale organization with a similar model to Educate! into a highly effective and recognized organization.

Finally, Educate!’s partnership with the government and the formal support they have shown for our work provides an excellent channel by which to create systemic change in the education sector.

How many people will your project serve annually?

2009: 415 Scholars, 7 Mentors

Projected numbers if quality can be maintained with expansion and necessary financial resources are raised:
2010: 830 Scholars, 12 Mentors
2011: 1,200 Scholars, 20 Mentors

What is the total number of employees and total number of volunteers at your organization?

10 employees, 130 volunteers

What is your organization's business classification?

Non-profit/NGO/citizen sector organization

Have you received funding from any of the following groups? (Please check as many as apply.)

Echoing Green .