New York City, NY – May 6, 2013 – President Barack Obama recognized Blue Engine as a high impact education nonprofit organization during his Ohio State University commencement address on May 5th. The President focused on the theme of citizenship, noting that Ohio State graduates “serve their country through the Peace Corps, and educate our children through established programs like Teach for America and startups like Blue Engine, often earning little pay for making the biggest impact.”
Blue Engine prepares students in low-income communities to succeed in postsecondary education through exposure to rigorous and personalized high school coursework. Established in 2009, Blue Engine recruits, trains, and supports Blue Engine Teaching Assistants (BETAs) – highly motivated recent college graduates who partner with teachers to help students build the academic and social cognitive skills required to succeed in college-level coursework. The model relies on BETAs leading small-group instruction in “gateway skills” including algebra and writing, an innovation that allows students the opportunity to learn in classrooms marked by dramatically reduced student / teacher ratios. During the current academic year, 39 BETAs serve nearly 800 students across three New York City high schools, using their experience as an entry point into careers in teaching and social change leadership.
“Blue Engine is honored that the President recognizes our work, in particular because it underlines the importance of the issue at hand,” states Founder Nick Ehrmann. “We cannot continue to rubberstamp diplomas and shuttle kids towards higher education without the preparation they need. The biggest open secret in education today is the staggering gap between what it means to be college eligible and college ready.”
Last year, Blue Engine’s partnership with three schools increased college readiness on New York State Regents Examinations (Algebra, Geometry, and English Language Arts) by 186 percent. This year, 580 college graduates applied to Blue Engine from 183 colleges and universities nationwide. This 87 percent surge from 2012 is evidence of a growing interest in combining service opportunities with high-impact “tutorial” pathways to careers in education. Blue Engine presents service as solution, growing a pipeline of future educators and advocates committed to making a measurable impact in the communities they serve.
Check it out at the 6 minute mark below!
About Blue Engine
Blue Engine partners with public high schools serving low-income communities to increase academic rigor in the classroom and prepare dramatically greater numbers of students for postsecondary success. Since Teach For America alumnus Nick Ehrmann founded the organization in 2009, Blue Engine has been recognized as one of the nation’s most promising social innovations by leading social impact funders including Blue Ridge Foundation New York, Robin Hood, Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation, Echoing Green, PropelNext (a venture of the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation), the Heckscher Foundation for Children, and the Edwin Gould Foundation, among others.
Emily Brenes, Communications Associate
Blue Engine, Inc.