One morning in 2018, Neely Kinkel simultaneously had three ideas…
First, she was concerned that her students were not interacting enough with the general school community. Second, she wished that she had another cup of coffee to make it through the day. And third, she wondered if one wasn’t the answer for the other. From there, her audacious dream for her school came together…
She imagined a student-run café in which her students would interact more directly and intentionally with the larger school community. The café would be a place where students would feel safe and included—and even better, it would feature an “open mic” for students to express themselves and their talents.
The dream grew into a self-sustaining program which would also provide students a unique opportunity to develop professional skills. The numbers added up, except for the first one… Where would the funding come from?
Her dream was big and bold, but the budget wasn’t. Kinkel, like so many involved in education, felt stifled by limitations of the budget. It’s because stories like this that Vantage started the Impact Education Contest.
Vantage Credit Union wanted to empower educators to be a little bolder, more audacious, and more imaginative in their dreams for their students and communities. Whether that means new technology, the perfect field trip, the inspired learning project, or even a professional development which gives the teacher the tools to inspire their students, we wanted to help make those dreams a reality.
Last year, Neely Kinkel composed a short video on her dream to impact education and her community. She won the grand prize of $2,000 and used the funding to build her student café.
Today the café is open, the dream is a reality, and the school community is so much better for Kinkel’s bold and audacious dream.
This year, we need your help in selecting our Impact Education contest winners.
Take a moment to help us Impact Education