What is the origin of this innovation? Tell us your story.
The founder of Sparks of Genius, Dr. Rohn Kessler, has been in the wellness field since 1970. He worked with the noted pediatrician Dr. William Crook to design and implement an innovative pediatric program for children with attention deficits and learning disabilities. In the eighties Dr. Kessler pioneered Equanimity, a holistic de-stressing center in Eugene, Oregon. In 1993 he designed the prototype for brain-based software applications to improve brain fitness and optimize learning potential. Since then he has focused all his efforts in the area of brain fitness, computers and learning achievements. In 1995 he was the Research Coordinator at the University of Oregon for Project COMPASS, a U.S. Dept. of Education initiative to improve science education in the U.S. He saw how visual thinking and mapping software helped non-traditional learners succeed. In 1997 working at 7 local schools, he saw alternately-abled students, mostly labeled ADHD or LD, descending into an abyss of depression, anger and poor grades. When he learned about brain-based cognitive solutions. he left the school system and created the first Sparks of Genius Center, an "electronic playground" for cognitive remediation and enhancement. Sparks of Genius is unique in that we are a strengths based program personalizing a variety of cognitive fitness software AND simultaneously sparking genius.
Please provide a personal bio. Note this may be used in Changemakers marketing material
Dr. Rohn Kessler has been a visionary in education and psychology since 1969. He has designed and implemented successful wellness programs in pediatrics, mental health, prisons, and substance abuse facilities. Dr. Kessler has held positions at the University of Oregon and at the Graduate School at Florida Atlantic University. In 2004 he created Thinking Pays, Inc. and started the first Sparks of Genius Center. Dr. Kessler has an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from Florida Atlantic University.
How did you hear about this contest and what is your main incentive to participate? (this is confidential)
We were invited to participate by Robert Benedict, who emailed us on Mon 9/17/2007 11:37 AM after going to the sparkmygenius blog. When we went to the Changemakers website, we got very excited. It can be a little lonely at the cutting edge, and it was wonderful to be connected with kindred spirits. We jumped at the chance to be part of your innovative online community. We are very proud of what we do at Sparks of Genius. It is very gratifying to be able to use games to empower people. We look forward to our future interactions with other contestants, as well as with the staff at Changemakers and are very grateful for the opportunity to submit this application.