Clifford Chiu, a private investor, corporate director, and government appointee in public and community services, commits to provide 10 hours per month in counsel through 2018 as well as up to $100,000 in the form of outright grants, matching gifts, and/or equity-based investment, including an initial $25,000 investment upon the formalization of this new 2015 CGI commitment. Specifically, Clifford will grow PenPal Schools network of K-12 students in the US and Asia via distribution partnership development and his own personal and professional network. Additionally, Clifford will leverage the CGI network, and he will organize and/or participate in ad-hoc meetings to engage corporate and individual partners. The goal is to reach 250,000 additional students globally by 2018. Clifford will work with a variety of organizations, including but not limited to schools, NGOs (e.g. orphanages and refugee camps), and other networks, initially in greater China, Korea, and India to grow PenPal Schools. Likewise, he will engage curriculum content providers to request their collaboration at commercial or charitable terms based upon relationships and introductions.
By January 2016, Clifford will assist PenPal Schools in forming at least three partnerships to help grow PenPal Schools global student network and curriculum offering. Clifford will provide his time and professional network to assist PenPal Schools in forming partnerships with content providers, schools, for-profit companies, and non-profit organizations. Schools and non-profit organizations offer direct access to medium and large student networks. For-profit companies, including educational content providers, provide indirect access to very large student networks through their sales and distribution channels.
Clifford will provide 10 hours/month in counsel over three years.
Online learning programs are expanding education opportunities around the world, but many students struggle to learn in isolation. Software alone cannot replace the guidance, accountability, and collaboration that come from being part of a classroom. PenPal Schools addresses that problem by connecting people of all ages to learn together through online PenPal exchanges guided by academic curriculum. In todays increasingly global society and economy, it is more important than ever for students to learn how to interact and respect people from other cultures. The effectiveness of their program in improving learning opportunities while promoting cross-cultural collaboration has led to organic growth through teachers and learners around the world. Their network has grown to over 70,000 learners in more than 70 countries primarily through word of mouth.
While PenPal Schools viral growth has been strong, they require partnerships with other organizations in order to reach learners in developing nations and expand curriculum offerings to new subjects. Organizations that already work with schools and youth groups in developing nations are well positioned to facilitate implementation of PenPal Schools to expand learning opportunities in the communities where they work. Other organizations possess educational content and/or expertise that could be leveraged to create additional course offerings for students to learn about a variety of other topics (STEM, human rights, environmental sustainability, health, etc). As a young startup organization, PenPal Schools lacks access and relationships required to form these strategic partnerships.
PenPal Schools seeks to source pools of K-12 equivalent school kids in developing countries to be pen pals with the existing US population.
PenPal Schools offers an excellent opportunity for CGI members to expand awareness of their organizational profiles and missions among teachers and learners located around the world. PenPal Schools provides both expertise in creating high-quality educational materials as well as technology and distribution to a network of over 70,000 learners in more than 70 countries.
The PenPal Schools curriculum team will volunteer its services to work with organizations to create co-branded courses for people of all ages around the world to learn about a variety of topics related to STEM, environmental sustainability, human rights, gender equality, global health, and other topics.