From the start, the mission of Lernabit has been to improve education by identifying the various obstacles people face when getting an education and finding unique solutions to those problems. Whenever possible, I try to find ways that the various problems can solve each other. For example, college students and lifelong learners need better study tools, and elementary school students and teachers need supplies. The solution was to build a study app for self learners and use some of the money to support charities focused on education. The study app has been around for a while now, and I'm excited to say that the second part is now in action: I've made the first charitable donation on behalf of Lernabit!
It was just a simple $10 donation to a 4th grade classroom in Cleveland, Ohio through DonorsChoose.org. This project stood out to me for a few reasons. First, the school is in a low income area. I strongly believe that education is one of the most powerful forces that drive social and economic mobility, so I love the opportunity to support low income students.
The money will be used to buy kits and supplies so the students can get hands-on experience with electronic circuits and fossils. That's another reason I liked this project. Having a degree in biology, I know how important it is to get hands-on experience early on. I remember as a kid going out into the woods to look for animal tracks, identifying trees, and playing with telescopes and microscopes. That hands-on experience exposed me to the amazing world of science in a way that a book never could.
Finally, I also like this project because it had a matching donation from the First Million Fund, which celebrates the first million projects funded through DonorsChoose. Thanks to their matching donation, my $10 donation means the projects gets an additional $10 from the First Million Fund.
A $10 donation might not sound like much, but it is still important. Obviously I want the amount of my donations to increase over time, but this first donation is important because it shows a commitment to my mission for Lernabit. For the first time it bridges the gap between the for-profit side of Lernabit and the greater social objective to make education accessible and open for everyone.
Moving forward, I'm excited to continue building new features in Lernabit and making more donations to charitable causes.
As of this writing, the project I donated to still needs $99. If you want to help, head over to the project page on DonorsChoose and send them a few dollars.