Learn Fresh is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that provides a fresh take on academic exploration through Student Centered Design, sparking students’ curiosity in the educational value of the ordinary and extraordinary in their lives. We utilize culturally relevant topics to develop fundamental academic skills and show students that learning can be derived from the things that matter most to them. Through relationships with iconic individuals and brands that students revere, we bring these experiences to life in and out of the classroom.
Our mission is to make learning fun for everyone. We aim to improve student engagement and achievement through the creation and distribution of innovative, fun, and effective educational tools.
We explicitly strive to reach the students across the country who have historically performed at the lowest levels, and we recognize the enormous disparities that have perpetuated such trends - specifically for low-income students of color. These students are more likely to attend under-performing and under-resourced schools, they are disciplined at alarmingly high and non-representative rates, and negative narratives about their abilities are portrayed in the media with great frequency. We see brilliance and limitless possibility in every student, and we aim to provide resources and support to these students and their educators so that their brilliance may shine through, with the end result being a more just and equitable society.
We envision a world in which all students find learning so engaging that they want to do it all the time. Students are trained to seek out opportunities for learning in all aspects of their lives and recognize the relevant connections between their academic work and the world that they encounter outside of school. Through this awareness and these opportunities, students will be able to find a subject they are passionate about, commit themselves to their learning, and successfully pursue graduation from high school and a personally meaningful career path.
We believe that students' interests and needs should be at the core of every successful academic experience. We seek to define the themes, brands, and individuals that students find to be most personally meaningful in a variety of fields - athletics, arts, food, travel, and more. Instead of isolating or separating those topics from the traditional subjects that students are expected to master, we combine them, with the aim of creating deep and highly memorable educational experiences. We sit at the center of the partnership between educators and brands to facilitate a productive and meaningful relationship that provides maximum tangible, standards-based educational value for all students, while equipping teachers with the tools that they need to build strong connections to their students' lives.
Khalil is a young social entrepreneur with a passion for driving positive change in education. He graduated from Brown University, where he studied Education and Social Innovation, was a member of the Varsity Rugby Team, and was captain of the Club Hockey team. Khalil is an African American National Merit Scholar and a winner of MassChallenge—the world's largest startup competition. He is an Echoing Green Black Male Achievement Fellow, and the youngest Echoing Green Fellow in the organization's history. Khalil has been honored by Ebony for "Manifesting Youth Leadership Now,” The Washington Post's The Root named Khalil one of the nation's 25 "Young Futurists" and he was named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 list at 21. On Sundays Khalil can be found riding his vintage motorcycle or camping under the stars.
Nick is a passionate entrepreneur who devotes time to pursuits in the arts, education, and athletics. At Learn Fresh, he has worked with NBA teams, large urban school districts, and national and regional after-school program providers to develop the NBA Math Hoops community program model. Since its launch in Cleveland during the fall of 2013, the program has expanded to include initiatives in 23 focus cities across the United States.
He also continues to work as an active educator, serving as Staff and Educational Coordinator for the Madison Scouts Drum & Bugle Corps from Madison, WI, a consistent Drum Corps International Finalist ensemble. Nick also runs a visual design business servicing high school marching arts programs in California, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, and Wisconsin.
Nick received a bachelor's degree in Entrepreneurship and Marketing Management from Syracuse University, and completed his master's degree at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he took an active role in growing the presence of education innovation on Harvard's campus. Outside of his work, Nick loves travel and Italian food, and excels at non-sports such as darts and foosball.
Jeremiah is a driven entrepreneur, educator, and math enthusiast, who is dedicated to fighting for equity and social justice through education and exposure. Jeremiah earned his undergraduate degree in Economics from Brown University. After graduating he joined the Teach For America Corps and taught Algebra 1, Algebra 2, and Geometry at Leadership Public Schools in East Oakland. While teaching, he earned his Masters in Urban Education & Policy, where he completed his thesis project on institutional grading practices and alternative metrics to grading in the Oakland Public Schools.
As a math teacher, Jeremiah helped transition his school and prepare his students for the rigors of the Common Core Engage New York curriculum, by facilitating collaborative efforts with the network’s math teachers. He developed innovative classroom structures, using technology and differentiation techniques, to deepen his student’s math literacy and equip his students with college and career readiness skills. Overall, his students collectively engaged in his vision and outperformed benchmark and academic progress scores. As a staff member, Jeremiah prioritized building relationships with colleagues and students. He did this by helping to create and lead a college-style library for his school, while also participating in the school’s inaugural slam poetry club, and contributing to math department professional development protocols.
He now serves as the Director of Programs and Content for Learn Fresh Education Co. and is driven, everyday, to transform the way people view academic content and make math and learning more relevant and engaging for students across the country. Outside of work, you’ll find Jeremiah eating his way through any city he’s in, cooking, watching travel shows that integrate cooking, playing pickup basketball, writing free verse poetry, running [half] marathons, and listening to engaging podcasts--all in a day’s work.
Jordan is a rare mix of technical and creative talent. While attending Utah Valley University, he was the Lead Animator for a Student Academy Award-Nominated animated short film. After earning his undergraduate degree in Digital Media, he developed and launched a successful math-themed mobile game. Jordan then dove into app production, and led the development on several high profile projects, from fully-interactive medical demos, to games built for virtual reality.
As Director of Product at Learn Fresh, Jordan is heading up the development of new mobile experiences. Driven by a keen interest in combining education and games, he ensures that the same impressive quality and passion that drives Learn Fresh continues to show in the new products that are in development.
Beyond work, Jordan enjoys spending time with his family, a good sci-fi novel, and playing sports of any kind. His ping pong skills are legendary, his guacamole is delicious, and his home office is full of toys from the 90s.
Stephanie is an inspired young professional committed to the pursuit of equitable education for all. A Loyola University of Chicago graduate, she has completed a year of service with AmeriCorps as a Denver Math Fellow. As Associate Director of Finance and Logistics for Learn Fresh, she will use her experience teaching Math Intervention within Denver Public Schools to empower families playing NBA Math Hoops across the country. Her hobbies include world dance, cupcake baking, and live music.
Tiombe Morrow is an educator with a strong dedication to today's youth. She oversees regional program intiatives in the Cleveland metropolitan area, working with educators to craft and customize the NBA Math Hoops experience for their classes and after-school programs. Tiombe attended Cleveland State University and studied Middle Childhood Education in the areas of math and science. She understands the importance of our youth performing at or above grade level, and devotes her time to guiding them to reach their full potential in a number of settings. She has spent the last eight years working as a tutor, GED math instructor, and most recently as a home instructor working with special needs children. When not working in an education setting, Tiombe loves to travel, take in a good movie, and attend sporting events.
Tiombe believes wholeheartedly that: "Education is for improving the lives of others and for leaving your community and world better than you found it.” - Marian Wright Edelman
Jeff is a graduate of Syracuse University, with a B.S. in Entrepreneurship and Marketing Management. Having volunteered with the Learn Fresh team in Denver during their inaugural season, Jeff is looking forward to growing the program in the Mile High City.
An avid proponent of positive change and a lifelong skier, Jeff spent several years teaching and supervising the kids ski lesson program at a small New York ski resort. He has also worked at the Carrier Dome and NBT Bank Stadium, and currently works for a marketing firm in the Denver area. When not in the office, you can find Jeff trying a new recipe in the kitchen, traveling, or spending time in the mountains.
Colleen Johnston has been working for Bay Area Community Resources for 11 years, and has remained dedicated to providing youth with curriculum that involves interactive learning techniques. For the past three years, she has focused much of her time on STEM/STEAM, and has helped the BACR team to implement 10+ curriculums across nine school districts. Their most recent, and arguably most successful curriculum yet, is NBA Math Hoops. In addition to her work in the school setting, she loves Giants baseball, Cal basketball and football (Go Bears), and exploring everything in and around San Francisco.
Bridget is a versatile young professional with experience in Communications, Law, and IT. She graduated in 2013 from Amherst College where she majored in Law, Jurisprudence, and Social Thought. As a four-year member and Captain of the women’s varsity basketball team at Amherst, Bridget capitalized on her ability to affect positive change in the community. During her time spent tutoring high school students, leading basketball clinics, and speaking at local elementary schools, Bridget became invested in finding a way to use sports as a vehicle to drive academic success among underprivileged students facing socio-economic disadvantages.
After college, while volunteering with a non- profit organization in Boston, Bridget was introduced to NBA Math Hoops. She currently resides in Denver and works as a Project Manager at MetLife. As a Regional Program Coordinator for Learn Fresh, Bridget will use her professional and extracurricular experience to deliver high quality programs within the Denver community.
Interests include: Watching sports, listening to music, running, and trying new restaurants.
Obinna Obike is a rising Junior Computer Science Major at Howard University. He hails from Prince George's County, Maryland, by way of Nigeria. Obinna is interested in all things technology, venture capital, startups and entrepreneurship, and hopes to someday launch his own tech startup.
Bill served as Sr. Vice President of Business Development for the National Basketball Association from 1991-1999. After leaving the NBA, Bill went on to become the Founder and co-CEO of Interactive Search Holdings, which was sold in 2004. Presently, Bill is the Board Chair for Learn Fresh, as well as the Executive Chair of ANC Sports which designs, installs and operates the signage and scoreboards systems for 50+ professional and college teams across the country. Bill chairs the Center for Entrepreneurship at The Met Center, which is a Big Picture Learning school. Bill is a graduate of the University of Georgia and the Harvard Business School. He lives in Rhode Island with his wife and three children.
Micah Gilmer is an expert in applied research, social innovation and the non-profit sector. He received his Ph.D. from Duke University in 2009. He serves as Senior Partner with Frontline Solutions, a social change organization that provides consulting services primarily to government, philanthropic and non-profit organizations. His current projects include work for Open Society Foundations, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and the Southeastern Council of Foundations. Gilmer’s recent publications include “Momentum: Sustaining Efforts to Improve the Life Outcomes Among African-American Males” (Ford Foundation), “Family Matters” (ABFE), “Why We Can’t Wait: A Case for Philanthropic Action” (Ford Foundation) and “Rebel Song: Soweto’s Black Sunday Movement” (Transforming Anthropology). Gilmer is a former Morehead Scholar, and earned his undergraduate degree in African American and Religious Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Jose Gordon is Executive Director of the Warriors Community Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Golden State Warriors, where he leads fundraising and charitable investments, including grantmaking, basketball court refurbishments, and ticket donations. Jose also serves on advisory committees for the Jefferson Awards Foundation, Good Tidings Foundation, Oakland Public Education Fund, and BensFriends.org. Previously, he was Senior Director of Development Communications for the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health in Palo Alto. Jose graduated from Stanford University with degrees in Economics and American Studies.
Steve Leinwand is a Principal Research Analyst at the American Institutes for Research and has over 35 years of leadership positions in mathematics education. He currently serves as mathematics expert on a wide range of AIR projects that turn around schools, improve adult education, evaluate programs, develop assessments and provide technical assistance. Leinwand’s work at AIR has included leadership and change instigator in AIR’s school turnaround work in Hazelwood, MO, East St. Louis, IL and Alexandria, VA; developing specifications and an Algebraic Reasoning item pool for the NCES High School Longitudinal Study; serving as Implementation Task Leader for the IES Mathematics Professional Development Impact Study; co-authoring “What the United States Can Learn from Singapore’s World-Class Mathematics System (and what Singapore can learn from the United States”; and co-authoring a comparison of the 2007 Grade 3 assessments administered in Hong Kong and in Massachusetts. In addition, Leinwand has provided school and district-level support and technical assistance for the General Electric Foundation’s Ensuring Futures in Education project and the Microsoft Math Partnership, As part of AIR’s assessment program, Leinwand has overseen the development and quality review of multiple-choice and constructed response items for AIR’s contracts with Ohio, Hawaii, Delaware, Minnesota, South Carolina and the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium.
Dr. Howard Stevenson is the Constance Clayton Professor of Urban Education, Professor of Africana Studies, and former Chair of the Applied Psychology and Human Development Division in the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania. From 1994 to 2002, he was faculty master of the W. E. B. DuBois College House at Penn. In 1993, Dr. Stevenson received the W. T. Grant Foundation’s Faculty Scholar Award, a national research award given to only five researchers per year which funds five years of research. In 1994, Dr. Stevenson was a Presidential Fellow at the Salzburg Seminar in American Studies, where 35 other community activists and researchers from 30 countries to present their community health intervention projects. In 1995, Dr. Stevenson served on a 12-member academic panel to consult on the development of a National Strategic Action Plan for African-American Males, sponsored by the National Drug Control Policy Office in the Office of the President. Dr. Stevenson has served for 29 years as a clinical and consulting psychologist working in impoverished rural and urban neighborhoods across the country.
A Brooklyn native, Latesha Williams is an accomplished sports & entertainment executive who served with global icon and international superstar LeBron James' marketing company, LRMR Management LLC. As the head of digital business development, Ms. Williams worked with leading technology & sports companies such as Twitter, Facebook, Fenway Sports Group, and the NBA to ensure the profitability and viability of the LeBron James brand throughout the world. Ms. Williams is well networked and respected through her years of experience honed at MTV, Nickelodeon, and Rocawear. Known for her hard work ethic and fierce loyalty, she is highly committed to serving her community and raising awareness about the importance of education among inner city youth. Ms. Williams works regularly with the Admiral Center, a Living Cities initiative that helps athletes and celebrities use their resources to develop sustainable solutions to our nation's most pressing social problems. She has been featured on MTV's Get Schooled television program, a collaborative effort with Viacom and The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to highlight the impact of higher education; and recognized by The Ohio Governor's Office for Women's Initiatives and Outreach as a distinguished female leader. Ms. Williams is a 2006 graduate of Hunter College of the City University of New York.
NBA Math Hoops is a fast-paced basketball board game and mobile app that allows students to learn fundamental math skills through direct engagement with the real statistics of their favorite NBA and WNBA players. The NBA Math Hoops curriculum is tied to Common Core State Standards and 21st Century Learning Skills, and it has been shown to improve students’ basic math skills and understanding of statistics, in addition to their interpersonal skills, driving them to collaborate more effectively with their peers.
Learn Fresh distributes the NBA Math Hoops game and curriculum in association with NBA Cares, and developed the product in partnership with Hasbro and Big Picture Learning. Working with individual NBA teams and neighboring education partners in cities around the United States, Learn Fresh is developing community-driven City Chapter Initiatives that provide NBA Math Hoops to students and educators at no cost.
NBA Math Hoops has reached over 41,230 students who have collectively done 13,150,017 math problems.