Special Reports

Education's Brightest and Youngest Stars Under 30


Every year, Forbes chooses 30 young professionals and achievers under 30 years old who have changed the education landscape with their innovative ideas. For six years, the organization has chosen a wide array of individuals from ed-tech start-ups to girls education advocates. Past winners include Tammy Tibbetts of She's the First and Nic Borg of Edmodo. Here are some of those who are nominated this year.

Matthew Ramirez

The 26-year old Ramirez is the co-founder of WriteLab, a writing software that teaches students how to write using algorithmic patterns. A graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, the idea of starting WriteLab came to him when he was teaching writing to oversized classes and noticing that students were not getting the feedback they need to improve their writing skills. WriteLab is now used in 53 schools regardless of the demographic they belong to.

Milagros Barsallo

The 28-year old is an alumni of Cornell University and the TFA. She and her family came to the United States from Panama when she was still a toddler. She co-founded RISE Colorado, an organization that focuses on bridging the educational opportunity gap by teaching and empowering families who belong to low-income and minority groups.

Andrew Colchagoff

Andrew Colchagoff started the content platform Gingkotree as a counter against expensive textbooks. Through the platform, educators can create their own textbooks using personal handouts, public domain resources, and pre-approved educational materials from big educational publishers like Pearson.

Connor Diemand-Yauman
The 27-year old Diemand-Yauman has a colorful experience to show off. One of his biggest, of course, is that as a co-founder of Coursera, a for-profit MOOC platform which boasts of more than 120 universities as partners and 15 million users around the world.

Maggie Dunne

Maggie Dunne might be young but her achievements will shame those who are older than her. To start with, she graduated magna cum laude at the Colgate University and while she was still in high school, she founded the Lakota Children's Enrichment, a for-purpose nonprofit which focuses on empowering the young people at the Pine Ridge Reservation in North Dakota. One of partners include the billionaire Sir Richard Branson.

Heejae Lim

Heejae Lim, a graduate of Stanford, Oxford, and LSE, understands how difficult and frustrating it is for non-English speaking parents to connect with their children's teachers. Thus, she developed Talking Points which hejp connect teachers and non-English speaking parents with each other through text messages in various languages.

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