Archive for Education – Page 2

Shiza Shahid

Nothing can light a fire under a cause quite as quickly as an entrepreneur driven by passion.  If you speak truth and dedicate yourself to the grindstone, the world will stop and listen.


Shiza Shahid is perhaps as dedicated as they come. As a teen, she spent her free time volunteering and was already an activist of several different causes. Time went by, she attended Stanford University and afterwards started at a job in Dubai as a business analyst. During this period of time, Shiza kept up to date with news from her home country, but things looked pretty grim. Between the period of 2007 and 2009 the Taliban had taken control of Pakistan and, due to their beliefs, bombed nearly 2,000 schools for girls.

“When I grew up in Pakistan it was pretty safe; I used to cycle outside,”  She stated.

“I felt like home was being robbed from me. It was a very, very broken place.”

Not to long after reading about the atrocities, Shiza viewed a documentary by BBC about an 11 year old girl named Malala. The documentary talked about the struggle Malala faced in a realm where an education was hard to come by and even dangerous to pursue. Heartbroken for the girl, Shiza kept up to date with news on the issue until she received word in 2012 that Malala had been shot by a Taliban member on a school bus.

Shiza flew to London were Malala was hospitalized and the two became fast friends. The girl, now 15, stated that she wanted to continue her campaign in hopes that one day girls like her will not have to be fearful when it came to getting an education. Shortly after, ‘The Malala Fund’ was created and the young entrepreneur worked tirelessly to make sure it achieved the proper support, eventually bringing on a a board of advisers.

Their goal is to offer a safe, 12 years of quality education to girls, and they’re well on their way.

– Read more about the Malala fund or Donate at


Chalk it Up

chalk_selfie_print_smallWilliam Zhou, born in 1992, always assumed a teacher’s job was easy. They taught out of the book, handed out papers, and had three months of the year to lay on the beach. Not too bad, right? He began observing his high school teacher’s lesson planning and grading of papers when he noticed how not so simple it was to run a classroom. He first creates Planboard to help lesson planning easier. Extremely successful, Planboard later wins $25,000 from the University of Waterloo Velocity Venture Fund and a partnership with Ontario Teachers’ Federation. With a growing user fan base, Zhou expands the service to, a Microsoft-like software tool for teacher collaboration, lesson planning, and assessment. aims to make it easier on teachers to provide a beneficial learning place. The goal is to encourage a personalized education for student success. Browsing on their site, it is easy to pick up on how youthful the service is. All the company leaders are under the age of 40 and along the side of the page are quotes of co-founders Zhou and Fleming who have experienced the power of education through amazing teachers and family members. Just out of school themselves, these leaders know first-hand the work that goes into a great classroom lesson.

Students complain all the time (especially in high school) about not getting a grade back fast enough. We groan and whine at our teachers asking juvenile questions like, “What else do you have to do during the year? You have the entire summer off!” Zhou thought the same thing, until he started exploring. If Zhou had not looked closer at what a teacher does to create a great classroom atmosphere, he would have never noticed the struggle teachers go through on a daily basis. looks to lighten the burden of lesson planning, grading, and assessing through an easy-to use software system approved by over 20,000 schools worldwide.


Eko Devices

The evolution of smart phone technology  has modified so many functions of everyday life. It started with music, and quickly took over the necessity for computers, and then wallets. Now smart phone technology has the ability to allow doctors to move away from their signature accessory: the stethoscope- to a more modern sleeker version.

Eko Devices allows doctors to use a stethoscope attachment that amplifies the patient’s heart beat into a software program on smart phones. The key to this new advancement is core technology( the amplification device). The Core transmits the sound waves into the Eko application in which the sound is recorded and can be stored and filed under each patient.

Eko Devices was founded by three guys (Connor Landgraf, Tyler Crouch, and Jason Bellet) with a dream to modernize one of the simplest duties of a medical professional. They have received over 800,000 dollars in angel donations to get their company off the ground. The core system is available for purchase, and the application is available for all apple devices and coming soon to android. Currently Eko Devices is backed by countless industry leaders, and well known physicians.

These three young men saw a device that wasn’t dated by any means, but decided it was time to modernize it. I think it will be interesting to see how they adapt their business model to be conducive to other adapters, allowing the medical professional to take other vital signs right from their smart phone.

A Real Estate Investor Who Isn’t Old Enough to Drive

Willow Tufano is a now fifteen year old girl who lives in Florida, but she was only fourteen years old when she bought her first house with the help of her mother, and began renting it out for $700 a month.  The two now own an additional house which they also rent out.  They bought the first for $12,000 and the second for $17,500, incredibly low prices in the housing market.  Willow’s plan is to buy her mother’s half of the houses when she turns eighteen and is legally allowed to own a house, she also hopes to own ten of these homes by that point.

Willow’s mother worked in real estate even before Willow asked for help to buy a house, and Willow helped gut and renovate houses for her mother, as she does still, now, for the houses that the two buy together and rent out.  Willow has put so much time into these houses and this business that she has left her full time school for the gifted to be homeschooled through Florida’s Virtual School.

I am personally inspired by Willow because I know adults who are in a similar business, with buying and renting out houses, who are much later in life than she is.  I didn’t think it was possible for a girl her age to be handling such big projects and to be putting so much energy into something that is generally something that adults who are older than her do.  She’s also inspirational because she is able to balance school and her business, and she was able to recognize that she wouldn’t be able to do that while still enrolled in traditional schooling, and made the decision to switch to homeschooling.  Willow renovating a home