I didn't feel like a good parent. I loved my kids dearly, but I knew my actions didn't prove it. I was distracted, tired and irritable. My son was getting C's and D's. He hated to read and wanted to be on the computer playing games. He complained that I never wanted to play with him. It was from this pain that Blaze was born.
The essense of what I discovered was that in order to ensure positive developmental outcomes for both children and teens, both child and adult must build the habit of active life skill building.
I was accepted to attend a workshop in Cambridge on how to build scalable impact leveraging Harvard's theory of change.
Some of the scientific concepts we addressed when constructing our scalable framework included:
Serve & Return
Executive Function & Self-Regulation
The Science of Adult Capabilities
STUDENTS DRIVE KEY GROWTH
Two Successful Pilots at Top High School
A strange twist happened in 2019. I met Brandon, a science teacher at a top high school in Chicago's suburbs. Brandon earned a Masters from Cal Berkeley and was one of the most sought after private tutors on Chicago's affluent North Shore.
Brandon insisted that both he and his high school students could benefit from Blaze.
With some adaptation to content and privacy, we successfully completed Spring and Fall pilots.
Brandon surveyed his students at the conclusion of each pilot. We received over 160 responses.
"Blaze helped me to be more aware of my mood each day in class. For an example, on days that I didn't get enough sleep, I noticed that on those days that I'm easily annoyed and hungry."
"Blaze helped me understand that everyone is feeling differently, everyone has different moods and that I should be understanding of that."
"Blaze helped me with relationship skills because I made some new friends in this class through the blaze activity."
HUMAN IMPACT INVESTING
Investing in Blaze as a Scalable Solution
While 2020 was perhaps one of the strangest, most stressful, and at times darkest years in modern history, I was lucky to enter into a partnership with a man I respect for both his remarkable business success as well as the grace and humility he never fails to carry.
Dave Husain was cofounder and CEO of Leapfrog Online for over 20 years, selling his company to Dentsu, an international advertising company, in 2017. After exiting Leapfrog, Dave began putting his energies into philanthropic work, with an eye out for a social impact startup he believed could make a scalable difference.
In November of 2020, Dave joined Blaze as a partner and investor, allowing us to assemble a high caliber software design and development team.