Pathway 2 Tomorrow Names $100,000 Innovation Award Recipients


Contact: Jane Dvorak, APR, Fellow PRSA
303-238-3011/ [email protected]

Pathway 2 Tomorrow Names $100,000 Innovation Award Recipients

JANUARY 8, 2018 — Pathway 2 Tomorrow: Local Visions for America’s Future ( announces its $100,000 Innovation Award winners. The Innovation Award Committee selected two proposals addressing the authentic engagement of students as partners in education policymaking. The Prichard Committee Student Voice Team and the Iowa Department of Education will share the award capturing students for impact in their communities and across the country.

“These two proposals provide a roadmap for building authentic student ownership in decision making and school transformation,” said Hanna Skandera, former New Mexico Secretary of Education and P2T visionary. “While we have always said that students matter and that we have a desire to incorporate their perspectives, these proposals provide game-changing impact for scale.”

Members of the Innovation Award Selection Committee included:

  • Jeremy Anderson – President, Education Commission of the States
  • Michael Crow – President, Arizona State University
  • Carol D’Amico – Executive Vice President, Strada Education Network
  • Deborah Quazzo – Managing Partner, GSV Acceleration
  • Ben Wallerstein – CEO and Co-Founder, Whiteboard Advisors
  • John White – State Superintendent of Education, State of Louisiana

There is a considerable amount of discussion right now about the powerful role students can play in their education journey. These proposals present clear and tested models for student ownership. Developed by Kentucky students and incubated by the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence, one proposal focuses on the importance of involving students in education research, policy, and advocacy through a Student Voice Think Tank. The Iowa Department of Education incorporates student perspectives in the school transformation process. Both proposals recognize that when students are active participants in their educational experience the impacts can be life-long and positive.

“Students are the subjects and recipients of education policymaking but are seldom agents in crafting those efforts,” said Rachel Belin of the Prichard Committee Student Voice Team. Kay Augustine of the Iowa Department of Education adds, “Schools and communities are becoming more aware of the passion and power of student voice. However, their voices are not yet a systemic part of the dialogue when it comes to school transformation. There is an untapped resource with potential, energy, and capacity to assist in clearly identifying issues and possible strategies to address them through the voices of the students themselves.”

“We know from experience that as primary stakeholders in our education system, students can be far more than just consumers of it; they can be dynamic co-creators too. The P2T award further validates this idea and the hundreds of Kentucky youth who have been partnering with the Prichard Committee and testing models of what meaningful student engagement in education improvement efforts can look like over several years now,” said Rachel Belin, Director of the Prichard Committee Student Voice Team

P2T matches responsive and agile education policy solutions with state and community needs. Through its Call for Proposals to transform education, P2T received 240 ideas across 39 states representing all geographical regions with ideas to propel education initiatives at the state and local levels, including policy makers, entrepreneurs, educators, parents, researchers, advocates, nonprofit and business leaders. Of those, only 24 proposals were selected to receive a $15,000 award to expand on their idea and be considered for the Innovation Award.

Over the next year, P2T and its Partners will drive progress on the critical areas that emerged from the Call for Proposals, inclusive of the solutions selected for expansion, to leverage broader impact in states and communities across the country.

For more details on P2T and the winners, visit

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