BENEFITING: BLUE ENGINE INC
Blue Engine is tackling the issue of college completion. If you think about it, we do an excellent job of selling students on the dream of college without preparing them to succeed once they get there. The biggest barrier to success in higher education – more than cost or support or expectations – is the academic rigor of your high school environment. That’s what Blue Engine is all about – increasing academic rigor in low-income high schools across the country. How? The model is similar to Teach For America but for *teams of tutors* - recent grads, superstars, who prefer working intensely with small groups of students in a team setting than leading whole classes by themselves. The Blue Ridge Foundation incubated BE starting in ’09, followed by Echoing Green in 2010 and the Robin Hood Foundation this year. They’re at an early inflection point and could be – I believe – one of our nation’s most effective service programs in the years ahead.
I had the great fortune to meet Nick Ehrmann, the founder and CEO, during my job search after business school. Blue Engine wasn’t big enough to pay me enough to cover my loans at that time, but I knew I had to remain involved. And boy am I glad I did. Since I became a member of the Board of Engineers, 3 (pending 4) of the 4 major funders in education nationally have given Blue Engine funding. Nick is being invited to panels in Washington, invite-only conversations about the future of education, and, most importantly, to present on and think through expanding the Blue Engine model.
The beauty of getting on board now is that Blue Engine is in its very beginning stages. This year was their pilot year. Mid-year and final prep testing data indicates that what they are doing is insanely successful. For me (and I hope for you), that is super exciting.
Between now and my birthday (June 19), I want to raise enough money to support one kid to be a part of Blue Engine's program for a full school year. This costs $1500. Sounds like a lot and a little at the same time, but it is the least I can do to continue to make the inspiring work that Blue Engine is doing happen.
If getting kids through college doesn't make sense, then I don't know what does! I hope you will join me.
PS- This is the last organization I am going to ask you to support my involvement in this year. I promise!