INSPIRED IMPACT is an ongoing blog series that gives voice to purpose-driven organizations and passionate leaders and entrepreneurs who are making an impact in their communities and industries.



 

Rebecca SandmeyerRebecca Sandmeyer is the Global Storyteller & Educator of Better World Ed. Follow them on Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin and YouTube and learn more at betterworlded.org.

 

WHAT DO YOU DO?
We create powerful videos, stories, and lesson plans, called “Empathy Challenges” that serve as curriculum content for children worldwide to learn empathy, global understanding, social change and cultural awareness – all while learning the required math and literacy concepts.

 

WHY DO YOU DO IT?
Because the need is great – now more than ever – for a shift in the mindset of our collective whole. A shift towards empathy, social change, global understanding, and cultural awareness. One that encourages equity, unity, and dignity. And the greatest shift of all starts with our youth.

We aim to do so by creating curiosity-sparking, judgment-suspending, empathy-generating, captivatingly powerful wordless mini-ethnography videos to be used as curriculum content in classrooms worldwide. To teach children how to be the incredible, compassionate humans they inherently are. While also learning math.

 

WHAT IMPACT ARE YOU MAKING?
Each story’s wordless video allows students to embark on a global field trip of cultural awareness and human understanding from their very own classroom. To experience the personal and cultural intricacies that comprise the profiled individuals’ everyday lives, from all far-reaching corners of the globe.

It allows students to find that shared thread of commonality and connection despite their differences. To relate to and learn about other humans that they may otherwise never have the opportunity to meet and understand on a deeper level. To think, “Wow, that person is going through that too? That’s a lot like what I’m experiencing right now.”

To be able to truly understand another real human on a deeper level, to realize that at the very core of it – we are all the same. We all share the same hopes, dreams, and beautiful struggles – day in and day out. And we need to come together, now more than ever, to overcome the struggles that we collectively face. Together. To create a better world.

 

WHAT (OR WHO) INSPIRES YOU TO MAKE THIS IMPACT?
The need for more engaging curriculum content in classrooms, specifically geared towards math, a subject in which children often feel challenged, defeated, incapable, and inept. This stands alongside the need for a focus on the social emotional development of children in classrooms. There is a lack of emphasis on critical skills and core values in the classroom that empower students to make that shift towards empathy, social change, and global understanding. The Empathy Challenge is a beautiful, symbiotic fusion of the two.

 

WHAT’S YOUR BIG DREAM FOR THE ORGANIZATION AND THE IMPACT YOU WANT TO MAKE?
To create enough globally adaptable curriculum content to be used by students worldwide. In classrooms worldwide. To reach as many students as possible, allowing each one the opportunity to practice empathy and social change in the classroom. Providing a platform from which they can learn math effectively, while also being granted the tools to be an empowered agent of change in their classroom, community, culture.

 

WHAT RESOURCES DO YOU NEED TO MAKE THOSE DREAMS COME TRUE?
Aside from funding, we are committed to reaching as many educators as possible in the United States and India this upcoming year. In order to achieve our goals, we must continue along this trajectory with humble yet hungry persistence, increasing our educator base globally through outreach efforts and partnerships. We are also hiring! Connecting with the right human for this role to drive that educator engagement is key. Learn more at: bit.ly/bweINDIAeefocus.

 

WHAT IS (OR HAS BEEN) YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE?
Our team is currently dispersed throughout many different time zones and countries. Facilitating effective collaboration and communication across borders has provided us with some challenges in the past, but we are strategically building our core team with some incredible humans, with the goal of collectively and proactively addressing the challenges that collaboration across borders can present.

 

WHAT WORDS OF ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHER LEADERS LOOKING TO MAKE AN IMPACT?
Passion, persistence, and positivity are key ingredients. All else will follow.

 

HOW CAN OTHERS SUPPORT YOU OR YOUR CAUSE?
We are at an inflection point right now where growth is huge for us – and our growth happens through sharing our mission, allowing more educators to connect with us! Know any inspiring educators in your network? Have an amazing teacher in your family? Spread the word! Connect them to our Facebook page or website and
encourage them to reach out!

We are eager to learn from as many new educators as possible as we roll out new incredible curriculum content – and a new website! – in the coming weeks/months. Any and all conversations and dialogue about Better World Ed is another essential step in our ever-evolving growth trajectory – and we are deeply appreciative of every last word.

 


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