EDUCATE!?S Winner of the 2011 Young Innovator For Social Justice
Friday, May 6, 2011
Boulder, Colo. May 5, 2011- Grinnell College today named the winners of the first Grinnell College Young Innovator for Social Justice Prize. Included are Boris Bulayev, President, and Eric Glustrom, Executive Director, of Educate!, a Colorado and Uganda-based organization that empowers the next generation of socially responsible leaders in Africa.
The Grinnell Prize, which received more than 1,000 nominations from 66 countries, honors individuals under the age of 40 who have demonstrated leadership in their fields and who show creativity, commitment and extraordinary accomplishment in effecting positive social change. Each winning entry (three total) receives $100,000, half to the individual and half to the organization. The inauguration of Grinnell College’s 13th president Raynard S. Kington, M.D., Ph.D. marks a transition point for the college. The prize commemorates the occasion and celebrates Grinnell’s historical and future commitment to positive social change.
“With 50% of the population of Uganda under the age of 15, Educate!’s work is not a moment too soon,” said Bulayev. “The funds we receive from the Grinnell Prize will go to empower the next generation to lift themselves, their families, and their communities out of poverty and solve the challenges facing their country.”
“Since its founding, Grinnell has encouraged students to use their knowledge and their abilities to serve the common good. Boris, Eric, and the other winners exemplify this core Grinnellian value, and their stories and achievements will inspire students at Grinnell and around the world,” Kington said.
Glustrom started Educate! at the age of 17 after filming a refugee settlement in Uganda for a documentary. There he met Benson Olivier, a refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Eric was inspired to start Educate! after seeing the potential in Benson and so many other youth to become the leaders who would bring solutions to the challenges facing Uganda and beyond. Bulayev became involved while both were attending Amherst College. Today, Eric and Boris have built Educate! to empower 1,400 youth across Uganda. The government of Uganda recently asked Educate! to incorporate its social entrepreneurship course into the national education system. It will reach 45,000 youth annually and be the world’s first national social entrepreneurship curriculum.
On October 26 and 27, the winners will visit the campus to participate in the Grinnell College Young Innovator for Social Justice Prize Symposium and awards ceremony. Through public lectures and interactions with students, they will share their experiences and perspectives in shaping innovative programs that effect positive social change.
Uganda has the youngest population in the world – over 50% under the age of 15. There are critical challenges facing youth: poverty, disease, environmental degradation, and the highest youth unemployment rate – 83%. Yet the current education in Uganda leaves youth unprepared to create and lead solutions.
Educate! unlocks the potential of African youth to solve the greatest challenges facing their communities. Our model is exponential empowerment – investing long-term in youth so they can positively impact many others.
Educate! provides a proven mix of a social entrepreneurship and leadership course, long term mentoring, and an alumni program that helps high school students start enterprises. Today, Educate! is working with 1,400 diverse youth across Uganda and developing a model that can be replicated across Africa.
The government of Uganda recently asked Educate! to incorporate the course into the national education system. It will reach 45,000 youth annually and be the first national social entrepreneurship curriculum in the world.
Educate! has been backed by Echoing Green, the leading venture philanthropy fund, won the Ashoka Changemakers Quality Education in Africa award, received first place in the Pan African Awards for Entrepreneurship in Education, and was recognized by EntrepreneurMagazine as one of 100 Brilliant Companies of 2009. For more information visit: www.experienceeducate.org About Grinnell College/the Grinnell College Young Innovator for Social Justice Prize Grinnell College is a nationally recognized, private, four-year, liberal arts college located in Grinnell, Iowa. Founded in 1846, Grinnell enrolls 1,600 students from all 50 states and from as many international countries in more than 26 major fields, interdisciplinary concentrations and pre-professional programs. The prize commemorates the inauguration of the college’s 13th president and celebrates Grinnell’s historical and future commitment to positive social change.