I founded this nonprofit iLoveSchools.com which matches America's teachers, schools and districts with donors of new, used and in-kind resources. Our goal is to find any resource educators need and then help find donors to make that happen. Anything from computers, books, manipulatives, field trips, volunteers... you name it. If an educator needs it they can communicate that need through this site at zero cost.
When I was a kid, walking home after school and somewhere around 7th grade I vowed to myself that I would come back and change schools. I was pretty frustrated about something to do with the school system but, I vividly to this day remember that vow. I had absolutely no idea this promise would someday manifest itself into the work I'm so lucky to do today. In my elementary years I was taught in a working class city school system that seemed only to be turning out factory workers, robots as it were. Also in 7th grade we had a new teacher come in with a fresh attitude - something I hadn't experienced until then. He clearly wasn't cut from the same cloth as my other teachers. One question he asked 'what makes you believe we sent a man to the moon?' set into motion an enormous amount of critical thinking to this day of how I perceive things. I was taught to behave and follow. Now I'm being taught to think and research.
Fast forward to today and I'm in a position to work hand in hand with educators I was not always fond of as a kid. Now I can help really make change in schools - doing so by helping find classroom resources and giving teachers the tools they believe will help them reach each and every kid in their classroom. This is important to me as well as I was usually fond of staring out the window daydreaming rather than sit in a stuffy boring classroom. I learned in the last 7 years that teacher's beliefs are so strong they spend their own money, technically to help their employers serve their clients. How unusual is this? How many of us bought the box of copy paper this month for our employer's offices, bought the pipe some of us will be installing on our plumbing job, brought the chili to the restaurant we work at?
My mission? I'll do the best job I can advocating for teachers ferociously and hopefully with as much dedication they had for me when they spent their own wages on my future. Turns out it's seeming to have become a great investment. Teachers are my heroes now and what a great way to honor the few of them that took a special interest in my education and my future!