Michelle, Founder @ StudentsFirst

If you are a child who was born into poverty in this country, the likelihood that you will be able to escape poverty is not high.  And that goes against every ideal that we have as a country, and it makes me mad - it is the fire in my belly that just pisses me off every day, that we have children who have so much potential and so much to offer the world, and they are not able to live up to that potential because they're not able to attend high-quality schools.

Steve, Founder @ Classroom 2.0, NC

I think school in its ideal form provides a variety of opportunities, and provides a belief in the innate capacity of every child.  Schools that have a variety of opportunities for individuals to flourish and then see every child as having potential and capacity really can make a huge difference for a child. I don't think that's how most schools work... We say that school is empowering, but largely we act in very controlling ways.  So we use the language of empowerment, but we use actions of control.

Molly, Executive Director @ Tandem, Partners in Early Learning

School should help her know herself.  It should help her know her power.  It should help her find her sense of responsibility and community.  It should offer her access to inspirational guides.  It should offer her skills to be able to fully embrace and utilize the information that exists in the world, and it should offer her access to great thinkers and great teachers, and the intersection of ideas. 

Glen, Founder & CEO @ Galileo: Innovation Camps for Kids

"When I started Galileo I thought what I was doing was providing access to academic areas like science, and engineering, and visual arts.  But it turned out that what we were really doing was creating an environment.  An environment that collectively, between curriculum design, classroom ritual, and overall community design, creates a special space that allows people's best selves to emerge.  And ideally that's what schools could do too.  It's harder, I know, but that's what I would love to see happen in schools."