We empower students, educators, and communities to transform the system in 3 ways:
create centers in public schools
open new schools
scale our approach to education
everything we do is grounded in authentic education.
Our Starting Place
We think about education on 100 year timelines. We know the challenges are so fundamental that they will require generations of authentically rooted work. We're impatient just like everyone else, but we've learned that deep and profound work is worth the discipline.
Collectively, American students spend 1.9 billion hours per week on school work...which is thrown away at the end of the week.
We are transforming these into 1.9 billion hours per week solving real communities' problems.
America's most disadvantaged students struggle to live freely as young people, and later as adults.
We deconstruct and disassemble intersecting systems of oppression with our students to help them develop the agency required for true freedom and opportunity.
There is an immense demand for a deeply authentic reconstruction of what "education" means by students, families, educators, funders, policy-makers, and the world's most accomplished top performers.
We bring the right people to the table to co-construct locally authentic definitions of education, and grow world-class programs from there.
Authentic Education only comes through co-creation among students, families, expert educators, funders, policy-makers, and the world's top performers. It's based on 3 principles:
- Grounded in reality
- Develops agency
Our 100 year journey of systemic change is underway with 5 centers across the Denver Metro Area.
We're not about testing pilot programs on students, then peacing out once we open our first school. We are about creating deep opportunity and working to see young people thrive. Our centers will grow and deepen by their own merit, and so long as we can help it, students will have access to those opportunities forever. We know the idea of centers + schools sounds bizarre to some, but we're in it for the long haul and our work strives to be a true reflection of the human experience, not just an exercise in experimenting with new school models.
We know this sounds a little intense, and we're fine with that. When you work through things deeply, it can seem complicated, but it's actually pretty simple.
Here's what this looks like:
HNC is our umbrella organization. Under that umbrella currently live two buckets: (1) our centers and (2) our schools. Our centers create opportunity for students where it's needed most, and they are each uniquely co-constructed with the students and families themselves. Our centers also help us understand and begin to answer the hard, unanswered questions about how to run a center-based school model with the primary mode of learning as solving real people's problems. Our schools (Fall 2019) will take it to the next level and fully center education around authentically solving real communities' problems. Imagine a school that partners with organizations to hire industry experts to share a space and work with students to solve real communities' problems on a daily basis. It's coming...and if you want a sneak peek, drop us a line, and we'll invite you to stop by one of our centers!
Check out our centers! We've been so busy creating amazing things that this section isn't fully filled out yet, but stay updated (below) and check back for more soon!
A Socially Conscious Makerspace
Students use 3D printers, laser cutters, circuits, coding, etc...to solve real communities' problems:
Low cost robotic prosthetic hand
3D printed Mathematics materials for Devnar School for the Blind in Hyderabad, India.
- Free food pantries for the neighborhood.
Identity & Social Action
Students use literacy & tools of social activism to create:
Student-created/led empowerment curriculum for younger students.
- Student-created/led equity professional development for teachers and administrators.
- Social micro-movements to solve real community problems.
Sustaining Ourselves & Our Planet (Fall 2017)
Students use environmental solutions, sustainable farming, and responsible manufacturing to create:
- Transformed buildings/spaces into urban farms to combat food deserts.
- Community-driven sustainable farming within schools.
- Super low-cost, sustainable housing.
Education Ecosystem Innovation
Though we don't feature this work on the website, we're deeply involved in the following areas on a national level, and would love to bring you into the conversation if you're doing interesting things in these areas. Visit our contact page to let us know!
Most organizations would get scatterbrained by trying to think deeply in all these areas, but our centers, collaborations, connections, and approach to building our team allow us to innovate elegantly in all of these areas at the same time. Most people think this stuff is boring and wonky, so we encourage you to skip it or jump to the blog.
- Sustainable and innovative finance models for non-profits, companies, foundations, philanthropists, government agencies, socially responsible venture capitalists, and impact investors working in education.
- Using cutting edge technology to simplify and increase quality of academic growth and mastery tracking, while enabling students to just focus in exciting and valuable experiences in the world.
- Developing highly accurate and predictive systems to track cognitive and social/emotional growth in students, and using this data to increase their post-secondary opportunities.
- Creating a postsecondary pipeline into the professional world with data systems that universities and businesses can use to accurately predict job performance.
- Helping world-class organizations, investors, and educators find each other, and help them communicate across industries, to accelerate and catalyze disproportionate impact in the education world.