Students: Do You Want to Make a Positive Difference in Education?

As President Obama said in his State of the Union Address, when we act together, in common purpose and common effort, there is nothing the United States of America cannot achieve.

The Department of Education (ED) is reaching out to our most valuable allies – STUDENTS.

If all students are going to graduate from high school and continue their education, we must seek your grassroots input and innovative ideas to address this goal. Are you a problem-solver, innovator, or entrepreneur?

Do you have innovative ideas on how to:

    1. Help middle school students’ transition to high school and graduate?
    2. Develop skills for success in postsecondary education?
    3. Choose affordable colleges that best suit student needs, consistent with their education and career goals?
    4. Increase the likelihood students complete their college degrees on time or early?

On February 1, 2012, ED launched a National Education Startup Challenge at ED is inviting students to develop innovative, real-world solutions to help students to be college and career ready.

Students are invited to submit a business plan and a video clip promotion for a for-profit or non-profit startup that includes an innovative strategy, product or service designed to address one of the four topics above.

If you are in 6th grade through postsecondary or an out-of-school youth, you are eligible to participate. Dont miss this opportunity to share your best and brightest ideas! The deadline for submissions is May 1st, 2012.

To learn more about this and other exciting competitions, visit the website at

If you have questions regarding the National Education Startup Challenge, email: or for assistance, please contact Scott Hess at 202-245-7772 or

Steve Brown

Steve Brown is an Educational Program Specialist in the Office of Vocational and Adult Education