Announcements, Press Releases
Pedal to the Metal in Miami
November 28 - December 1, 2022
Florida is known as the Sunshine State, but it was 32 STOP-enabled semifinalists who truly shined during our fast-paced and jam-packed Accelerator to the $1 million Yass Prize this past week. From California to Vermont and everywhere in between, education innovators said they “learned how we can do even MORE for our students” with “insight on how we can all continue our journey to change the world.” Another said: “Enlightening doesn’t even come close.”
Jeb Bush reminded everyone to focus on literacy and that parents are students’ “first teachers.” Bitcoin backer and education entrepreneur Michael Saylor encouraged semifinalists to be intentional about equipping students with techniques for what’s in-demand and to inspire students to create what can be automated so it can be spread further and faster. “If you have a brilliant teacher or classroom experience that is performing for students they care about,” Saylor said, “put a camera on them and the class”—and make it available to the world. Saylor’s own free Academy serves more than 1.5 million students of all ages, and thousands more enroll each quarter. Michael Sorrell, president of Paul Quinn College—America’s oldest historically black college west of the Mississippi River—shared what he learned from his family: “You can do anything you set your mind to. And you have an obligation to do something about it.”
Yass Prize semifinalists clearly set their mind to their students’ success. And in Miami, they learned how to say as much. Before they each made their pitch, they were encouraged to “Look at every slide and say, ‘So what?’” Yass Prize judges evaluated the “what” of every pitch and we look forward to announcing what comes next.
We didn’t take our foot off the gas at our Accelerator, however. Yass Prize founder, and what one semifinalist called the “Education Oprah who is literally transforming education,” Janine Yass indicated things are just getting started. Yass announced the six runners-up award to $1 million Yass Prize will now be doubled to $500,000 each! “We need you to grow more rapidly to give more students the education they deserve,” Yass said. Look for more here soon on who’s accelerating to the prestigious $1 million Yass Prize to be announced in New York City on December 14!
The Yass Foundation advances the four core STOP principles: Sustainable, Transformational, Outstanding, and Permissionless education. Each year, the Foundation will reward dozens of organizations, building a growing network of innovative providers that
demonstrate these qualities in their commitment to new ideas, technologies, and approaches to learning that bring education into
the 21st century. The Foundation is powered by the Center for Education Reform (CER) in partnership with Forbes.
There is absolutely zero downside to being a part of this network by submitting your application and what you will encounter is unlike any other grant.
It's actually mind blowing. I really see myself as an education entrepreneur, but this expanded me.
Everyone knows that without great education, our nation suffers.
Great education is a vital link for students to become successful citizens.
I'm a Yass Prize finalist from last year.
And through that, we were able to open up our second campus in the city of Wichita.
Yass brought us together, creating opportunities to create an educational universe within which we can look at education differently…
we have to find academic experiences that represent neuro-divergent learners, kids who want to learn about gaming, who want to do stuff online, who dropped out of school.
If you're committed to wanting to be one of the change makers of the future in education, I believe that this is a place for you.
Not only because of the capital, but because of the knowledge that comes by communing with the diverse group of people as opposed to everybody that thinks the exact same way that you might think.
Being a part of the [Yass] family confirmed that what I'm doing is right,
going against the common core and focusing on what we know is important for kids really works, and having a network of people now that also agree was super huge.
The foundation of any society is a good education.
Being a part of this experience has amplified the access we can give to our students in a way that nothing has, and the access is just critical.
The Yass Prize is almost like Burning Man for education reform.
The Yass Prize is truly changing the landscape of education options across the nation,
and I couldn't be more grateful for what it's done for us, and helping us serve more students and families.
It might be the first time you’re speaking where everyone is actually listening and cares about what you’re doing.
I don’t think I’ve been in a room as supportive as the Yass Prize Semifinalist room in Miami.
The Yass Award is about celebrating and rewarding those who make students the priority.”
Our newest endeavor – that was part of our Yass Prize initiative – we're bringing career and technical education into the school
I'm in the process of going through the construction of a 20,000 square foot $11.5 million dollar building dedicated to career and technical education for the students in the Philadelphia region.
We used the Yass Prize to launch a program called Skypod catalyst, which is essentially an accelerator to help other people start microschools.
We believe very much that microschools should be bottoms up, they come from the community. They're founded by educators who know their community really well. And they want to design a learning environment for the kids in that community.
Believe in your mission… Ground yourself… Never give up…
Because of the Yass Prize, we were able to add an additional pre-K classroom.
Education is one of the most fundamental pillars for democratizing opportunities for success that we have in our society.
It’s thanks to organizations like the Yass Prize that our children are going to have a better tomorrow.
When we follow the money, it’s ludicrous how this country is getting away with funding education.
The funding is not following children. We're trying to make better options for kids, for poor kids, middle class kids. Wealthy people have this choice, they opt out of their systems easily, why shouldn't all children have that choice?
The Yass Prize is centered around ensuring that this [program] provides you a stepping stone...
We don’t want you to rinse, wash, repeat. We want you to build and sustain.
One of the missions of the Yass Prize and the Yass Prize movement is really surfacing best practices in innovation—
in innovators who are doing this type of transformational work, so that others can learn from it and replicate it, so that you can actually grow yourselves.
The Yass Prize has brought together such diverse leaders
from all different demographics, all different states, all different service provider types that you can learn from.