New Profit is excited to announce the launch of our Personalized Learning Initiative, an education initiative aimed towards inclusive social entrepreneurship and personalized learning. The Personalized Learning Initiative is part of a dual launch of education initiatives, alongside the Proximity Accelerator.

The Personalized Learning Initiative, which is led by New Profit Partner Trevor Brown, is an effort to invest in promising new approaches and technologies that can give students more agency in their own learning journey and provide teachers with tools to tailor classroom instruction to the unique needs of each student. As part of this four-year initiative, seven selected organizations will each receive an unrestricted grant of $1 million. Today we celebrate one of the seven selected organizations: imBlaze.

About imBlaze (Big Picture Learning)

Big Picture Learning was established in 1995 with the sole mission of putting students directly at the center of their own learning. BPL co-founders Dennis Littky and Elliot Washor merged their thirty years of experience as teachers and principals and their distinct national reputations to launch this new innovation in education. With an intention to demonstrate that schooling and education can and should be radically changed, Big Picture Learning was born. Big Picture Learning, which has been practicing providing personalized learning through deep relationship building and student agency for 20 years, has launched an application called imBlaze which allows schools – BPL schools and beyond – to build internship management systems that connect students to relevant real world learning opportunities that increase their intrinsic motivation for learning and put them on the path towards pursuing an academic and professional path that matches their passions.

In the schools that Big Picture Learning envisioned, students would be at the center their own education. They would spend considerable time in the community under the tutelage of mentors and they would not be evaluated solely on the basis of standardized tests. Instead, students would be assessed on exhibitions and demonstrations of achievement, on motivation, and on the habits of mind, hand, and heart – reflecting the real world evaluations and assessments that all of us face in our everyday lives.

About Andrew Frishman

In the spring of 2002 Andrew heard a student describe his unique transformational learning experiences at The Met High School in Providence, RI, the “mother ship” of the Big Picture Learning Network. That fall, Andrew joined the Met as an Advisor (Teacher), working with a 9th grade advisory group through to their graduation in 2006. He then moved to CA to support the development of the Met Sacramento High School, worked with its first graduating class, and became the school’s first “Learning Through Internship Coordinator.” Andrew has assisted with the expansion of the Big Picture Network in a variety of capacities, including supporting the launch of innovative schools across the US and internationally. Along the way he has melded experiences from an MAT, an administrative credential focused on urban schools, and a Health Leadership Program, into a belief that student-centered education is a crucial determinant of both individual life outcomes as well as community well-being. He completed the Education Leadership Program (EdLD) at Harvard Graduate School of Education, the Harvard Kennedy School, and Harvard Business School and joined the leadership team of Big Picture Learning in 2013. Andrew is now a Co-Executive Director of Big Picture Learning.

About Carlos Moreno

In his role as Co-Executive Director of Big Picture Learning, Carlos Moreno is the visionary for all U.S. school and district wide programs, leading a national team of phenomenal regional directors, School Design Coaches and coordinating leadership development & support services for school and district leaders. Carlos also leads Big Picture’s work with scores of non-Big Picture schools that wish to incorporate elements of the Big Picture Learning design. A proud native New Yorker, Carlos Moreno is a passionate educational leader committed to supporting school and district leaders who are creating high-quality, non-traditional schools. Carlos is 6’8” tall and has a devastating jump shot. Carlos holds undergraduate degrees in marketing and business from Johnson & Wales University along with a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership. Most recently Carlos was named as a 2015 Pahara Institute Fellow – a fellowship designed to sustain diverse, high-potential leaders who are reimagining public education and who will shape the future of the educational excellence and equity movement.

Follow @bigpiclearning @Carlos_Moreno06 & @AndrewFrishman to keep up with imBlaze and Big Picture Learning!

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