Education As A Change Agent

Are you a mission focused donor that believes in education as a change agent? Are you unsure what programs will actually make a difference? Are you looking for successful outcomes that will help students develop the skills they need to be inspiring leaders and world changers?

If this resonates with you, please keep reading. We need people like you to support the Curious Student Foundation Fund!

The Problem

We have been watching parents of smart-but-bored teenagers flounder as they look for that silver bullet that will engage their kids. There are so few good options to engage AND educate their kids, and when they DO find great options, they simply can’t afford them. It’s like standing in front of the bakery window while you’re hungry but have no ability to buy.

Fortunately, we have broken the code to engage and educate young adults. Between the two of us, we have a PhD, a master’s in educational technology leadership, and over 30 years of teaching experience. We also have had 7 of our own teenagers and understand parent’s frustration.

So we turned our theory and experience into a 4-step process to grab teens by the curiosity and catapult them into new possibilities. Teens from northern California to the panhandle of Florida have stepped up onto the high road of learning for its own sake because they tried our process.


Why Do We Care?

Over the past six years, we’ve discovered that many parents do not have the money to send their kids to these events, so Innovation Academy has created “scholarships” so that all students can participate. We have never turned away a student who wants to learn and we’ve found that some of those students are the ones that come up with the most innovative solutions to difficult problems… because they are curious about how things work and inspired to experiment until something works. We have over 40 pages of stories of transformational breakthrough that I wish we could share here.

However, we are not a huge corporation with unlimited resources. Realistically, what a “scholarship” means is that our small, family-owned business reduces the cost to whatever the family can afford to pay. Last summer alone, we gave thousands of dollars in scholarships. Perfectly aligned with our mission… not so good for the business bottom-line… yet we have so many amazing stories of transformation come out of every class that we’d rather reduce income than turn away students.

The Solution

Enter the Curious Student Foundation. Steve and I wanted to create a viable option for these frustrated parents by connecting them to resources to help them cover the costs and to track them over the long-term so we can learn what truly changes young adult trajectories.

Good nonprofits are driven by a strong mission. Our mission is to make excellent hands-on STEAM learning accessible by connecting curious students with stakeholders in the community interested in seeing them succeed.

Normally, nonprofits beat the street and ask for money. As we start the Curious Student Foundation, we would like to modify that model. We are not asking for money so that we can support “our precious mission”. Instead, we are reframing the issue. The students we support will be learning the value of significance and sowing back into their families, communities, and society.  Each of us has a deep need to be significant–to make a difference and contribute.

We are offering to our supporters the same experience we are offering to the teens WE support: significance.  


The Curious Student Foundation is an education program whose mission is to influence and change the lives of children, students, and adults who demonstrate innovation and leadership competencies by connecting them with classes and mentoring to draw out the uniqueness of each individual and give them the tools to fully engage their abilities. The classes and mentoring are immersive experiences in which individuals have the opportunity to engage creative problem-solving in order to develop deep thinking skills, perseverance, resilience, self-discipline, and other crucial life skills.