Our Supporters

We would like to thank our generous supporters who have helped us grow and kept our core operations running.

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is committed to ensuring that all students in the United States have the opportunity to receive a high-quality education.  We invest in programs with a common aim: to strengthen the connection between teacher and student. To that end, we work with educators, policymakers, parents, and communities to expand and accelerate successful programs and identify innovative new solutions that can help unlock students’ potential.


New Schools Seed Fund

New Schools Seed Fund invests in both nonprofit and for-profit organizations that are working to improve public education in a variety of ways.

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Vicki Abeles

Vicki Abeles is a former Wall Street attorney turned filmmaker, author and education advocate. Her first feature documentary, “Race to Nowhere”, is a vivid portrayal of the pressure­cooker culture dominating America’s schools. Using a cutting­edge community distribution model that has showcased the film in more than 7,000 community­sponsored screenings, Abeles has brought “Race to Nowhere” to millions of viewers around the globe. Abeles launched a non­profit committed to providing resources and tools to support awareness, dialogue and community action connected to the issues the film raises. Abeles is currently in production on two new education documentaries: a film about the math crisis in America and the inspiring educators on a mission to solve it and a film featuring innovative schools on the cutting­edge of education reform showing it’s possible to transcend outmoded, test­obsessed education policies and create a more equitable, empowering, student­centered education culture. She is also working on a book to be published by Simon & Schuster. Additional credits include Associate Producer on the Sundance favorite “Miss Representation”, Associate Producer on “Plastic Man: The Artful Life of Jerry Ross Barrish” and co­author of the End the Race Companion Book for parents, educators and students.

Luc Barthelet

Luc Barthelet was executive director at Wolfram|Alpha Inc (December 2010 – May 2014).  Prior to this he was CEO of TirNua, Inc, a games company, which developed an eponymous MMO virtual world. TirNua was acquired by RockYou! in December 2010.  Between 1998 and May 2008 he worked for Electronic Arts. He is famous in the gaming community for engaging with players on blogs and in discussion boards.  In his previous post of Group Studio Head, Electronic Arts, he was also instrumental in the development of persistent state worlds, a responsibility that included Majestic, Motor City Online, Earth and Beyond, Ultima Online and The Sims Online. Before ascending to that position, Barthelet was General Manager of Maxis where he led product development for titles such as The Sims, The Sims 2, SimCity 4 and SimCity 3000.

Carol S. Dweck

Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D., is one of the world’s leading researchers in the field of motivation and is the Lewis and Virginia Eaton Professor of Psychology at Stanford. Her research focuses on why people succeed and how to foster their success. More specifically, her work has highlighted the critical role of mindsets in business, sports, and education, and for self-regulation and persistence on difficult tasks in general. In addition, she has shown how praise for ability or talent can undermine motivation and learning.
She has also held professorships at Columbia and Harvard Universities, has lectured to business, sports, and education groups all over the world, has won numerous awards, and has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Her work has been prominently featured in such publications as The New Yorker, Time, Newsweek, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and she has appeared on “Today,” “Good Morning America,” “20/20,” and NPR’s “Morning Edition.” Her recent book “Mindset” (published by Random House) has been widely acclaimed and is being translated into 17 languages.

Brenda Hall

Brenda Hall serves as the Director of the North County Professional Development Federation in San Diego.  This consortium includes California State University San Marcos, Palomar College, the San Diego County Office of Education, 25 north San Diego and South Rivrside county school districts and 1 charter organization.  Previously, Brenda served as an AVID Coordinator for the County Office of Education supporting schools in the north San Diego county.  Prior to that she worked as Curriculum Coordinator in the Vista Unified School District.  She began her career as an English and AVID teacher in Carlsbad and has worked for the last 27 years as an educator.  Brenda is a graduate of the University of San Diego and has earned a Master’s in Educational Leadership.  She is the 2015 recipient of the Fran Aleshire Leadership Award for her leadership in the region.

Jacob Klein

Jacob Klein is the CEO and co-founder of Motion Math, creators of award-winning, innovative math games that help elementary students master the most challenging concepts. A game designer, educator, media producer, and frequent conference speaker on learning games, Jacob earned a B.S. in Symbolic Systems and a Master’s in Learning, Design, and Technology from Stanford and won a Loeb Award for a seven-part Lehrer NewsHour series he co-produced and edited. As an educator, Jacob tutored students in math and writing, and taught at a KIPP charter school.

Sebastian Thrun

Sebastian Thrun is a co-founder and CEO of Udacity and a research professor at Stanford University.  Sebastian founded Google X, home to Google’s self driving car, and Google glass.  In 2011, Thrun received the Max-Planck-Research Award and the inaugural AAAI Ed Feigenbaum Prize. Fast Company selected Thrun as the fifth most creative person in business in the world. The Guardian recognized Thrun as one of 20 “fighters for internet freedom”. Udacity stands for “we are audacious, for you, the student”. It attempts to democratize higher education by creating the notion of “nanodegrees” which empowers people from all traits and ages to find employment in the tech industry.

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