Let’s Innovate Through Education (LITE)
Maybe you’ve already heard of Let’s Innovate Through Education, also known as LITE. This nonprofit was recently founded by Hardy Farrow, who made Forbes’ 2017 list of “30 Education Entrepreneurs Under 30.” Read on to learn more about this great organization that aims to provide quality education to children in the Memphis area.
Who is Hardy Farrow?
Hardy Farrow is the 26-year-old who founded, and is now the executive director of, LITE. He worked at a Memphis high school for Teach for America (TFA) and received their National Innovation Award in 2014 for his work on LITE. He’s believes that “Education requires empowering your students to invest in their community so that we can make it the place they want it to be.” In order to achieve this goal, Farrow founded LITE to help underprivileged students he met through working in the Memphis area.
What is LITE?
LITE’s mission is to help students find what they’re passionate about and then use those skills and interests to help their local community. The nonprofit works to connect high school students with local businesses and opportunities that allow them to pursue their fields of interest and work toward professional growth. LITE also works with students to find scholarships and internships that allow them to further their education and experiences to hopefully one day come back to their community and improve the city with their newfound knowledge.
The nonprofit focuses on building business models and enacting those plans, so the students can succeed as entrepreneurs. The program focuses specifically on minority students in low-income areas who are passionate about discovering and enhancing their interests in order to improve their communities and lives. Farrow became motivated to work with these students after his experience with TFA, when he realized that the majority of them did not particularly like Memphis and believed they had many ideas to help the city.
How does it work?
LITE has four main aspects that it focuses on to help students become successful entrepreneurs. They are:
- Rigorous 6 month entrepreneurial program where students launch ideas in the community.
- Tailored scholarships and college counseling to help students leverage these experiences.
- Match alumni with competitive paid internships while in college.
- Help students transition from college into creating wealth in their communities with entrepreneurship.
So far, LITE’s approach has worked, with 100% of its students graduating high school and 95% projected to complete college in four years.