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NerdWallet’s Top 5 Children’s Education Nonprofits

Aug. 2, 2012
Personal Finance
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The nerds are all about education. We want to help all future and present students achieve their educational goals. NerdWallet helps with the finance end, but these guys here are putting their time and money on the line to help children who don’t always have the same opportunities. Here are some really innovative children’s education nonprofit organizations that do fantastic work and really do change the world, even one potential nerd at a time.

Asante Africa: Educating children, transforming worlds

Starting in 2006, Asante Africa Foundation has grown from a small local project into an 18-partnership education nonprofit organization. Serving villages in Kenya and Tanzania, Asante now boasts well over 400 teachers and 25,000 students helped. Asante does not just organize groups of students and teachers though. They are committed to the entire education process, completing infrastructure projects such as classrooms, dorms, and latrines, training teachers and volunteers, performing community organizing efforts, and offering scholarships for higher education. What sets Asante apart is their reliance on working with local leaders and building cultural understand. This allows them to be cognizant of regional or cultural barriers that might prevent these children from receiving the education they are otherwise capable of. Asante also extends their programs beyond the classroom through their innovative Leadership Incubator Program. The Leadership Incubator program brings teens into a learning environment of seminars and presentations where they learn more about social issues such as HIV and substance abuse, explore possible career paths and entrepreneurial projects, and develop leadership skills to put efforts back into their communities. In doing this they are bringing a holistic approach to education and creating mechanisms for continuous social and economic advancement. Asante believes that its Leadership Incubator is hugely beneficial for both the students and regions of Africa, so much so that their Board is currently matching any donation made to this leadership program. Asante knows that these efforts benefit the individuals through quality education, and their communities as a whole by creating capable citizens who can serve those around them.


Omega Boys Club/Street Soldiers: Keeping youth alive and free

The Omega Boys Club/Street Soldiers is a dedicated San Francisco Education nonprofit committed to keeping children, particularly African Americans, from dropping out of school and getting involved in street crime. Founded in 1987, the organization has grown from offering positive extra-curricular social activities to offering 5 major programs to radically change the culturally ingrained issues affecting these youths. These include The Omega Leadership Academy, The Omega Training Institute, The Street Soldiers Violence Prevention Program, The Nationally Syndicated Street Soldiers Radio Show, and the Alice & Free Movement. These offer numerous violence prevention services and workshops, academic and scholarship support, and training and advocacy programs for youths, inmates of correctional facilities, and communities. These guys work hard to keep young people free from violence, and we support their efforts.


 African Childrens Haven: Serving children for Africa’s future

 African Childrens Haven believes in supporting kids through local grassroots organizations. They invest in community projects that focus on education, but will also extend support to projects that improve the overall health and standing of children, especially orphans and children in extreme poverty. The hope is that community-based organizations are permanent fixtures because they are tied to the people and the region, and investing in them will therefore yield better long-term results. They are making a difference all over Eastern Africa by addressing the needs of orphans and the homeless, agricultural issues, environmental concerns, gender inequalities, and they do it all through a focus on education. African Childrens Haven provides education about these issues in addition to funding schools and providing the financial resources for individuals to go to school. In Tanzania they offer scholarships specifically for girls’ secondary education, and hope to expand these scholarships to allow girls to go on to college. Their work is helping the disadvantaged children in Africa from the ground up.


 Jr.Tech: the power of STEM education

Ok, these guys rock. Jr.Tech is making the world a better place by engaging kids in STEM education, their acronym for science, technology, engineering, and math. Their mission is to not only educate kids, but also to foster life-long interest in these disciplines. Jr.Tech serves kids in grades 5 – 12 by providing hands-on courses in these subjects as well as expos from STEM professionals. Some of their student projects include building computers, experimenting with rocketry, and doing mock crime scene investigations. These fields are all hugely important in today’s workforce and are rapidly expanding in their importance for scientific discoveries. As a nonprofit, Jr.Tech educates students, but also provides career mentoring and helps to offer additional attention to underrepresented groups in the fields. They SciTech Girl Expo is but one example of Jr.Tech working to get women and other demographics involved in STEM fields. They are helping the nerds of the future, and we hope they get the recognition and support they deserve.


 Project Exploration: Hands-on science for kids

Project Exploration was founded in 1999 to expand youth access to science. This nonprofit education organization works hard to ensure that all groups of people can engage with science. They try to focus their efforts on bringing up students with typically limited paths into science, particularly minority youths and girls. Project Exploration does this by giving students opportunities to work with science and right along scientists outside of school. The organization supports scientific exhibits, online initiatives, and connects curious students with professionals to engage in practical applications of scientific knowledge. Their track record is impressive as well. Project Exploration helps hundreds of kids each year, and 96% of their participants graduate from high school and are 3 times more likely to enroll in a four-year college than the average kids their age. Their commitment to equal access to science and their impressive success rate is what caught the nerds’ eyes, and we wish Project Exploration the best in their continued efforts to help aspiring nerds everywhere.