During my final quarter at the MIT Sloan School of Management, I conducted an independent study about social entrepreneurship in the education sector, primarily focused on current players and existing opportunities in the space. I collaborated with education non-profit Noble Impact to determine how the high school education system might be transformed by greater involvement from communities and businesses. My research entailed three stages: Internet research, phone and in-person interviews with key players at non-profits and businesses, and creation of a final report, which you’ll find attached to this email. My research was focused on four questions: - How are high school students currently engaged in career development? - Which businesses are most engaged in K-12 education? How and why? - What scalable opportunities exist to solve the skills gap between the classroom and workforce? - What should I do after MIT Sloan to have the greatest impact in education? The final report covers my key findings for the first two questions – insights were pulled from interviews with recruiters, students, non-profit leaders, and corporate giving professionals. The report also covers potential opportunities that Noble Impact or other organizations could implement to improve career-oriented programming offered to high school students. Lastly, the report gives a very brief insight into where my head’s at for post-Sloan plans. INSPIRATION FOR THIS PROJECT I was inspired to conduct this project for two key reasons: Education has been a life-changer for me, and Noble Impact’s work inspired me to think harder about how I could contribute to improving education in America. As a first-generation college (and graduate) student, I’ve observed and relished in the difference furthering my education has made in my life, as compared with the trajectories of my siblings, cousins, and elders. Education not only pulled me out of poverty, but it also opened my mind to the many ways in which I could l contribute to the world. Last year, I was invited to judge Noble Impact’s Arkansas High School Startup Weekend, and I was amazed by what the students were capable of producing: Full product prototypes, pitch presentations, and compelling arguments for why their business ideas were important. At the time, I didn’t consider how I might contribute to their experience beyond my duty as a judge, but as my second year of Sloan began to wrap up, I reflected upon my two years in business school and realized that my time in Little Rock with those motivated, talented students was the most inspiring time of my MBA. After starting a dialogue with Noble Impact CEO Eric Wilson, I decided I couldn’t end my semester without a deep dive into the education world. And thus, this project was born.