Welcome the 2019 Camelback Fellows


Every year, we experience change. We all do. At Camelback, there’s been a lot to think about. For one, many of our Fellows have experienced great pain and strife, and each one of them has risen to the occasion and dedication to their vision for a better world with such strength and perseverance -- their stories in turn strengthen us. And what “us” means at Camelback has radically evolved as well -- we have entered what we call internally “Season 3” of the Camelback Team. We have welcomed some more new faces while still learning how to gracefully handle changes with others. We’ve launched two new programs, settled into our new office...we’re building our new normal. Our constant has been the Education Fellowship.

Each year, we have reviewed applications. The numbers started off in double digits before soaring into the hundreds. We rely on the generosity of our friends to evaluate. We find our voices as we advocate for candidates’ potential. We struggle when we are hit by the confines of funding -- the reality that, despite wishing we could accept all 42 Finalists, we must focus our attention. With determination and excitement, we are thrilled to introduce you to the 2019 Camelback Fellows.

This group is the first that will be overseen by our new Director of the Education Fellowship, Dr. Charles Corprew. Charles knows the work -- he is a former classroom teacher and professor, holds a Ph.D. in Psychological Science from Tulane, and has run his own social enterprise and radio show “What’s Your Revolution?” since 2013. After months of doing the selection process with the team, he and Camelback Founder Aaron T. Walker emerged with the list we present to you today.

This list of 14 education leaders includes dirt bikes, video games, and foster care. It includes previous applicants who we are thrilled to see again (hi Shanté, Elijah, Marvin, and Cory!). It includes individuals who, fresh from college, are now founders, and career educators who are ready to take the big jump and start their very own school. It includes ventures in areas we’ve never worked in before, such as Birmingham, Washington state, and rural North Carolina. These for-profits, nonprofits, hybrids, and schools are led by passionate, determined people of color. Welcome to the family.

Camelback wishes to thank the entire Camelback family -- current and past team, coaches, Fellows, family and friends -- anyone who has taken the time to review applications and interview candidates. We also wish to thank all of our partners who have supported the work financially and with their time, shared their recommendations, and sent the opportunity to their networks.


Academy for Creating Excellence - Marcus Harden

School - Seattle - https://www.ACEAcademyWA.org

ABOUT: ACE serves young men entering the 7th grade through 12th grade with an optional 13th year. ACE has a population focus on African American males and young males of color who have historically been underserved in traditional school models. ACE believes that education happens best through intentional experiences. ACE concurrently serves as a demonstration model to recruit black male educators.

MARCUS: “I am Ruthless for the education and liberation of black males in K-12 education and beyond. I am ruthless for walking beside, in front of and behind young black men cheering them on reminding them of their innate greatness even when they don’t feel or hear that message in the world.”


B-360 - Brittany Young

Hybrid - Baltimore - www.b360baltimore.org

ABOUT: Our Stem education program hires former street riders ( 16+) to teach elementary and middle school students how to build, code, design and 3D print model size dirt bikes to instill the engineering design process. Then in the summer time students and riders work on teams to focus on riding safety, skills training, repairing and building actual dirt bikes.

BRITTANY: "I am Ruthless for protecting our culture, acknowledging natural genius and talent, creating solutions, stem education and empowering Black people throughout the diaspora.”


Believe Schools - Kimberly Neal

School - Indianapolis

ABOUT: We believe that if we intensively prepare our leaders in the 9th grade through strong remediation, social/emotional/cultural intelligence programming, personal and professional purpose and identity work we can accelerate their preparation for college and career readiness. The profile of a graduate from Believe will have attained an associate degree or career certification before they complete HS.

KIMBERLY: "I am Ruthless for building leaders through K-12 education in our country. I am unapologetic about serving Black and Brown leaders, children and adults, and I plan to assist in closing the income gap exponentially.”


Eight Million Stories - Marvin Pierre

Nonprofit - Houston - https://www.eightmillionstories.org

ABOUT: Our organization provides disconnected youth (16-18 years of age) an opportunity to complete their education by way of getting a GED and provides them with occupational skills training where they leave with certifications in food-handling, customer service and warehouse fork-lift operation. Lastly, youth gain access to services to address their emotional and behavioral health needs.

MARVIN: "I am Ruthless for Systemic Change. I'm driven to disrupt systems that are intended to place limitations on the potential of our most vulnerable youth. I strive to use my platform and level of influence to help change the narrative for what is possible for at-risk youth, specifically  young boys of color impacted by the juvenile justice system.”


Generation Success - Brandy Williams

School - New Orleans - http://gensuccessnola.org

ABOUT: Generation Success is one of few organizations in New Orleans, and nationally, designed for learners with exceptionalities at both ends of the Special Education spectrum. We provide equity through project-based, self-directed, personalized learning modules. Our students genuinely drive their education. Equally, we teach our students how to advocate for themselves, and develop life skills.

BRANDY: "I am Ruthless for providing equity to the most vulnerable learners in the education system! That is the simplest version of my truth possible. As an educator for, a parent too, and a community member who will be impacted by the very students who are often left behind, I must bring about change.”


i-Subz - Jasmine Edwards

For-Profit - Tampa - www.i-subz.com

ABOUT: i-Subz is a recruiting and placement marketplace for substitute teachers and Title 1 schools. For schools, we offer prescreened substitutes on demand. For substitutes, easy access to jobs and same day pay. This allows students to be matched with motivated substitutes that are passionate about their success in the classroom.

JASMINE: "I am ruthless for student success. As a former substitute teacher with experience in Title 1 populations and whose impacted over 1,000 classrooms, I showed up daily to make a difference. When Title 1 schools provide quality lesson plans and subs are paid fairly, students are positively impacted."


I3 Academy - Martin Nalls

School - Birmingham - http://i3academy.org/

ABOUT: I3 Academy--the first charter school in Birmingham, AL--will enroll over 400 children in the Woodlawn neighborhood of Birmingham. Modeling our work on other charter networks that emphasize rigorous, student-centered learning and social-emotional growth, we will teach our students through thoughtful, inquiry-based content that helps them become engaged and passionate learners and leaders.

MARTIN: "I am ruthless about systems and meaningful collaborations that lead to student achievement. I am ruthless in insisting that all students can reach and exceed the expectations of caring adults within an environment that is at once rigorous and student-centered.”


KlickEngage - Samantha Pratt

For-Profit - Miami - www.klickengage.com

ABOUT: KlickEngage creates education technology. We allow students to self-report their emotional well-being daily through a scaled survey system. Based on their responses, students are given targeted coping mechanisms. Teachers receive real-time reports of where every student starts their day, allowing them to be proactive instead of reactive to student need.

SAMANTHA: "I am ruthless for mental health reform in education. It is estimated that 1/5 youth live with a mental health condition. Need is even higher in low income communities where children are frequently facing complex traumas. We need to address this issue to increase school achievement."


Pay Our Interns - Carlos Vera

Nonprofit - Washington, D.C. - payourinterns.com

ABOUT: Pay Our Interns promotes paid internships and pushes organizations to convert their internship program from unpaid to paid. Once an organization starts offering paid internships, we connect students from underrepresented communities with these new paid opportunities. Simply put, we are creating a diverse talent pipeline one paid internship at a time.

CARLOS "I am Ruthless for empowerment. I believe we all have a voice and our own power. Some of our voices just happen to be muted or simply not heard. That is why I have spent my life empowering others so they can use their voice to gain power and change the current dynamics in their communities. "


Rural Opportunity Institute - Vichitra Jagannathan

Nonprofit - Eastern North Carolina - www.ruralopportunity.org

ABOUT: We convene stakeholders across rural Eastern North Carolina to understand the causes of generational trauma in the community; to create a community-wide strategy to disrupt and prevent generational cycles of trauma; and to design, pilot and sustain solutions that align with this strategy and ultimately shift systems away from punishment and towards healing for people experiencing trauma.

VICHITRA: "I am ruthless for equity in rural, majority-minority communities."


Social Cipher - Vanessa Castañeda Gill

For-Profit - Washington, D.C. - https://socialciphergame.com/

ABOUT: Social Cipher is an empowering video game for kids with autism. With an interdisciplinary team from neuroscience and game design, Social Cipher combines the needs of real families with scientific research and the magic of gameplay and story. We aim to empower kids to embrace their autism and to make social skills practice more accessible to families in terms of time and cost.

VANESSA: “I am ruthless for the empowerment of people with disabilities to realize their power and potential and use it to shatter stigmas throughout the world. "


TasselTurn - Shanté Elliott

Hybrid - Chicago - tasselturn.org

ABOUT: TasselTurn helps youth in foster care stay in and graduate from high school. We accomplish this by solving the educational displacement youth in foster care experience. We provide youth in foster care personalized, evidence-informed, education coaching over the web.

SHANTÉ: "I am Ruthless for helping youth in foster care met their potential. “


Wise Young Builders - Elijah Moses

Nonprofit - Washington, D.C. - https://www.wiseyoungbuilders.org

ABOUT: WYB bridges youth to the STEM trades and construction industry, helping community realize the practicality and value in skill development. We helps youth design and build projects, meet real estate developers, visit construction sites, use tools and engage in activities to increase their interest in math and STEM related fields. We increase their confidence, aptitude and exposure.

ELIJAH: "I am Ruthless for having the space, time, capacity and attention to deliberately work on activities that educate, liberate and advance those who are often forgotten. I am ruthless for connecting with people, traveling and examining the experiences that open my mind to continue my work.”


Youth Empowerment Broadcasting Organization (YEBO) - Cory Montalvo

Nonprofit - Denver - https://www.yebomedia.org

ABOUT: The Youth Empowerment Broadcasting Organization (YEBO) is an in-depth, multi-year youth development and media makerspace partner for schools that helps youth in grades 5-8 surface and define their voice and discover their passions. Through transportable media labs, students explore, develop, and operate media-based enterprises through the lens of social justice and civic engagement.

CORY: "I am ruthless for supporting youth with developing into their righteously authentic selves. Like power, everyone has a voice. So let’s be clear, I’m not here to give young people a voice; rather, I’m ruthless for working with youth to discover and self-express the swag that’s already within them.