Wishbone allowed Eighty kids got to attend academic summer camps and after-school programs this year. Now, the education crowdfunding platform has begun to allow children in need in the NYC and the Bay Area to apply for assistance. The non-profit startup has spent the last year increasing its fundraising and impact fulfilment components. Now Wishbone is ready to redefine and scale the scholarship arena.
Wishbone allows donors to browse profiles of kids and the programs they want to focus on. People can choose to fund a specific child, or let Wishbone allocate the funds. Further down the line, donors receive information about the progress of the kids they have sponsored. Wishbone’s goal is to narrow the opportunity gap between low and high income families. Statistics show that richer families spend 10x more on out of school programs as less fortunate families. Wishbone harnesses the power of the crowd to even out the playing field. Wishbone is about the stories of disadvantaged children who receive funding for an academic program, begin to realize their passion, and stay engaged with their education. This is the foundation of long term success. Every one of the 80 kids Wishbone put up for funding this year received the money they needed.
An example is Gabriella. She is from a low income family but she is a high-performing high school student from Astoria, New York. She had volunteered at a local hospital and thus discovered she wanted to train to become a doctor. Wishbone set up a profile for her and 13 donors paid to send her to Georgetown’s Summer Medical Institute program. She then excelled and found a professor to mentor her who subsequently recommended her to the admissions office. From there she received a scholarship. Now she’s attending Georgetown University for college as a pre med and is, as expected, excelling in her field of study.
To educate our progeny beyond the standard classroom environment is crucial to helping children discover their passion and thereby fight academic exhaustion. Engaged students turn into productive, happy, healthy members of society. They spur innovation, or at least receive higher paying employment, which then helps to contribute taxes and buying power to the economy. We need to show children that education is the road to fulfilment.
Beth Schmidt is the founder and the only full-time employee of Wishbone said “We’ve found that Wishbone students are understanding and pursuing their passions. Interest in school and extracurriculars is going way up.” Apparently the kids love it too. A study has shown their Grade Point Average goes up, and they say they are better able to manage time, express themselves and are more interested in school. One such student said:
“The support from the Wishbone community has shown me that there are other people that believe in me and my interests…This program has showed me who I can become and offered me useful resources. I am so grateful and thankful for the Wishbone community.”
The startup is now working on business development and is seeking discounted tuitions and free spots from program providers and corporations in exchange for spreading awareness of the program. Wishbone will also provide new tools to help children and teachers discover local programs that tailor to the student’s interests. People who are searching for deserving organizations to give their money to can also purchase gift cards for friends that allow them to select a child to support. This step is crucial as Wishbone is in competition with other non profit organizations such as Watsi.
[Image via: designdelight]