Pearson Foundation - August 12, 2010 Istanbul, Turkey – August 12, 2010 – Today, TakingITGlobal and the Pearson Foundation announced the Pearson Fellowship for Social Innovation, an international fellowship program that supports the most promising social service projects created by TakingITGlobal's growing online network of youth leaders. TakingITGlobal's Executive Director Jennifer Corriero presented the initiative in her address at the closing ceremonies of the 5th World Youth Congress, held to launch the United Nations International Year of Youth.
Beginning this fall, the Pearson Fellowship for Social Innovation will recognize and support youth-developed projects created as a component of TakingITGlobal's innovative Sprout e-Course curriculum, designed to give young leaders worldwide access to training in essential skills, including team building, project management, communications, and the ability to leverage technology as they imagine, plan, and develop social innovation projects. Since its release in 2008, the Sprout e-Course has helped young people from more than 40 countries build the skills they need to develop their own social innovation projects.
Both the Fellowship and the e-Course are aligned with the main objectives of the World Youth Congress – finding ways to harness the incredible talent, energy, and ingenuity of young people in their shared effort to achieve the U.N.'s Millennium Development Goals of eradicating hunger, achieving universal education and gender equality, reducing child mortality, improving maternal health, combating HIV/AIDS, promoting environmental sustainability, and developing global partnerships.
The Pearson Fellowship for Social Innovation will be awarded to young people with the most promising and well-prepared plans for community projects developed during the Sprout e-Course. Two International Fellows will each receive $5,000 to help launch their projects. Ten additional Regional Fellows will each receive a $1,000 award. All Pearson Fellows will receive one-on-one mentoring from experienced social innovators who will consult with them as they implement their project plans. Integral to the program is a special online community where the Fellows can network with their peers and have access to special online materials and training designed to help them take their projects from the planning stage to reality.
The initial phase of the e-Course was developed by TakingITGlobal with a development grant from the Pearson Foundation. Course registration is now open at www.sproutecourse.org to any young person who wishes to take part. In January 2011, anyone who has completed a Sprout e-Course will be eligible to apply for the Pearson Fellowship for Social Innovation.
"The Pearson Foundation was an early believer in TakingITGlobal," said Corriero. "Their support for Sprout made it possible for our organization to turn an idea into a dynamic program with the potential to cultivate young leaders around the world. Now, the Pearson Fellowship for Social Innovation has the potential to spark the same possibilities for young people everywhere."
"TakingITGlobal connects young people who share the desire to change and improve the lives of people around them," said Mark Nieker, President of the Pearson Foundation. "The Pearson Fellowship for Social Innovation helps incubate similarly great ideas developed from among members of their inspiring online community. With the Pearson Fellowship for Social Innovation and the Sprout e-Course, we aim to help these young activists put their plans into action and contribute to their goal of building a better world."
The Sprout course exists within the framework of the TakingITGlobal social network, an award-winning online community of youth who are working for change by addressing issues of economic opportunity, education, health, human rights, access to technology, and the environment. This "social network for social good" has more than 300,000 members from literally every nation on Earth. Although one third of the members are from North America, a large percentage of TakingITGlobal members are from developing countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Through these members and their projects, TakingITGlobal reaches millions of young people worldwide every year. More information is available at http://www.tigweb.org.
About the Pearson Foundation
The Pearson Foundation extends Pearson's (NYSE: PSO) commitment to education by partnering with leading nonprofit, civic, and business organizations to provide financial, organizational, and publishing assistance across the globe. The Foundation aims to make a difference by sponsoring innovative educational programs and extending its educational expertise to help in classrooms and in local communities. More information on the Pearson Foundation can be found at www.pearsonfoundation.org.