Thrīvera: Helping Kids Change the World One Story at a Time
Thrīvera empowers at-risk kids with video storytelling to build their digital literacy, keep them in school, & help them thrive in a digital era.
About Your Organization
United States, OH, Loveland, Hamilton County
Country where this project is creating social impact
Philippines, BUL, Baliuag
Is your organization a
Non‐profit / NGO / Citizen sector organization
Your role in Education
The type of school(s) your solution is affiliated with
How long has your organization been operating?
Less than a year
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Select the stage that best applies to your solution
Start-Up (a pilot that has just begun operating)
How long has your solution been in operation?
Operating for less than a year
The Need: What problem are you trying to solve?
We will improve the lives of at-risk kids in the developing world (e.g. Philippines) by ensuring they finish high school & teaching them technology to thrive in this digital era.
-Developing world children who come from families earning <$5/day
-Diverging demographic – Growing youth population with limited access to technology puts them behind in the global digital economy.
-Education is extremely affordable (~$50/month), yet poverty restricts education, because kids are forced to work
-High risk of dropout: 2 out of every 5 Filipino children will never finish high school
-1.5 million street children in the Philippines ages 5-17 years old
-Fill the talent pipeline –Asia is becoming a strong IT center & we want to ensure young talent is ready
The Solution: What is your solution? Be specific!
We empower kids by teaching them video storytelling skills to build their communication skills & bring a meaningful connection to another classroom across the world. We find purpose in story as a means to connect people together. Its what makes us uniquely human. Stories evoke empathy! We think at-risk kids have powerful story experiences that need to be shared, and we want THEM to learn how share it with their voice. All we'll do is give them the creative platform.
We teach a video workshop as an after school program, encouraging kids to explore their personal stories (such as growing up in the slums of an impoverished community where they're family earns <$4/day). This becomes the raw material in the story telling arc used to help them script their experiences. We then put a Flip video camera in their hands so they can share the 1st hand account. Finally, we teach them how to edit these films to be shared with other students around the world.
The Model: Walk us through a specific example of how your solution makes a difference; include your primary activities
We are conducting a pilot in Cincinnati, Ohio with an inner city after school program. The school currently has no digital media course, so our workshop will help build a curriculum for the school that will dovetail into a full-time program. The kids come from low-income families, and half of them come from refugee families who've resettled in the US. These kids come from war-torn, politically unstable, or socio-economically unstable countries. Most are already behind the education curve because of their experience, & now they face new challenges to adjust to a new culture. Yet, we're confident of their bright future.
The powerful stories they tell are self-captured on video & become the material used to raise funds for educational purposes. We'll fund scholarships for the most talented kids, to ensure they have every possible opportunity to stay in school & develop their skills further. In other cases, we'll use the funds to help impoverished schools develop digital media programs.
The program is meant to be modular, so we can bring this curriculum to kids all over the world. Overseas, we're planning a workshop with a partner school in the Philippines, just outside of Manila. We'll use the workshop as a volunteer effort to bring videographers and skilled digital media artists to teach kids. That school is in need of a program like this, with most kids at a high risk of dropping out because of poverty.
The Marketplace: Who are your peers and competitors? Identify others also working to address the needs you are and what differentiates you from them. What challenges could these players pose to your success or growth?
We're aware of a few non-profits out there helping young people tell stories: Young Storytellers out of LA, Video Volunteers in India, Kids with Cameras. Few are focused in SE Asia as we want to be, & most seemed to be localized solutions.
The key differentiators for us are two-fold: 1.) We want to connect schools together using the bridge of storytelling so kids interact with one another using a meaningful platform and 2.) This is a modular curriculum we want schools to adopt and sustain themselves.
We view other programs out there as opportunities to partner with to spread the power of storytelling. We want to create a network of classrooms around the globe that tell stories, & the schools they operate could become part of that, so we're not competing, but complementing each other.
Now that you have thought out your entry, help us pitch it.
Define your company, program, service, or product in 1-2 short sentences [136 characters]
We empower kids with video storytelling to build their digital literacy, keep them in school, & help them thrive in a digital era.
Identify what is innovative about your solution in 1-2 short sentences [136 characters]
We use the simple & inherent power of story told by an empowered young person to inspire & fund education for life.
This Entry is about (Issues)
What has been the impact of your solution to date?
The power of story seems to resonate with everyone. We're just getting started, & local US based inner-city schools are excited about us helping them build programs for their schools. We begin our first class in Cincinnati in April.
What is your projected impact over the next 1-3 years?
We want to raise $50,000/year to fund education for at-risk youth. In the third world, that will fund >1,000 kids education for a year. After year three, and we grow to to $100,000/year, we want to build a school each year.
What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?
We're part-time volunteers who started this non-profit. We want to move full-time in the next three years. We need seed money and first we're using our pilot to prove a successful model. From there, we are looking for corporate sponsorship, grants, and permanent funding to ramp-up.
Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and track growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact
2 successful pilot workshops: 1 in the US and 1 in the Philippines touching 30-40 kids in 2 partner schools
Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your six-month milestone
Establish our 501c3 status (paper work submitted in US pending approval)
Establish $10,000 base funding via fundraising events
At least 1 corporate sponsors with a $5,000 dollar commitment
Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone
Put 500 kids through our program and 10 partner schools in network
Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your 12-month milestone
Establish $30-50K in funding
3 corporate sponsorships $10K/each
Operations in 3-4 countries (outside of the US and Philippines)
Founding Story: We want to hear about your "Aha!" moment. Share the story of where and when the founder(s) saw this solution's potential to change the world [125 words]
I'm a 2nd generation Filipino American & a son to immigrants. I visited the Philippines once as a small boy, & it took me 28 yrs to go back to trace my roots. In 2010 I took my parents home to get a glimpse of the country of my ancestors through their eyes.
My mother was a school teacher & her side had successfully built schools in the same neighborhood she grew up outside Manila, now educating hundreds each year. Meanwhile, my father's village has remained in virtual time capsule since he left 50+ yrs ago. Dad was the 2nd youngest of 10 growing up an island of sugarcane farmers. More importantly, he was the 1st of his generation to ever break away & go to college.
Just outside my father's childhood home, a shanty, with no running water or electricity, I watched my cousin climb a 30 ft coconut tree. Then, I realized that my father's decision to leave changed the arc of my story some 50 yrs ago. It was now time to use my skills as a corporate trainer on leadership & storytelling.
Tell us about your partnerships
The Cincinnati Public School, Academy of World Languages, teaches K-8 grade. Half their kids are from refugee families while the other half are inner-city kids who've studied a foreign language since 1st grade. CPS, like other city schools has high drop-out rates with most of their kids living below the poverty line.
The Immaculate Concepcion School of Baliuag in the Philippines serves an extremely poor neighborhood where the average Filipino earns <$5/day. The outskirts of this neighborhood consist of street kids who dropped out of school to work to help their impoverished families.
What type of team (staff, volunteers, etc.) will ensure that you achieve the growth milestones identified in the Social Impact section? [75 words]
I've already established volunteer networks to develop & teach workshops by training them on the curriculum. Meanwhile, we're developing more partnerships with local schools to determine fit. A strong round of seed money, will help us establish staff overseas in the Philippines (because the cost of employment is relatively affordable) to develop further partnerships.
Please elaborate on any needs or offers you have mentioned above and/or suggest categories of support that aren't specified within the list
As we look to grow Thrivera's partnerships, we'll need investment to develop the program. Most importantly, we'll need to vet partners and it will take resources to do this properly.