By Eileen Murphy Buckley
ThinkCERCA is thrilled to join forces with the United Nations Foundation’s Nothing But Nets campaign on our new global initiative, the Social Entrepreneur Education Partnership. A commitment to social impact is at the core of the UN Foundation’s and ThinkCERCA’s mission. I founded ThinkCERCA because, on a global scale, we need equitable access to 21st century education opportunities for all learners, who can then contribute to making the world more humane and sustainable. Only through access to the highest-quality education for all students, regardless of location or background, is it possible to truly change the world.
I was so inspired by the story of Mei Mei Tercek, Maddie Tirella, Bella Barber, and Tiffany Kim, the founders of Bottles for Bed Nets and Champions of the Nothing But Nets campaign. When these four high-school students from California learned about the deadly effects of malaria across the globe, they decided to take action. By collecting and recycling bottles from their community, the girls have already sent 250 bed nets to save hundreds of lives around the world. That kind of global awareness, creative problem-solving, and commitment to improving the world are exactly the qualities we need to foster in our future leaders. Creating a life-saving campaign like that requires effective communication, collaboration, and critical thinking. These are the skills we at ThinkCERCA help all young problem-solvers to learn!
ThinkCERCA is proud to feature the Bottles for Bed Nets story, among many other articles on social impact initiatives ranging from health care to environmental sustainability to women’s equality, in our Social Entrepreneur Education Partnership. These inspiring real-world stories of social entrepreneurship reflect our focus on collaboration, literacy, technology, society, and culture. The lessons also use our CERCA framework, which will help students analyze the steps other social entrepreneurs have taken, get inspired, and apply what they’ve learned to develop arguments and pitch decks that help them get their own solutions off the ground. It goes beyond education; it’s also about taking action. We hope the stories will challenge students to think critically about a problem in their community or anywhere in the world and the literacy skills they develop will empower them to make a positive impact.
Eileen Murphy Buckley is founder and CEO of ThinkCERCA, a schoolwide, online educational resource designed to prepare students for career and college readiness by helping them build analytical reading and writing skills across subjects.