Takeashine is an online crowdfunding platform for underprivileged students who risk missing out on higher education because they are unable to meet their college costs. Today, perhaps the biggest burdens faced by families is the inability to pay for higher education. For those coming from underserved backgrounds, the hurdles become even greater. Far too often, the difference between a student's calculated financial need and real financial need leaves a gap too wide to cross, and the chance to attend college becomes impossible. That's where Takeashine steps in. Through Takeashine, students are able to raise up to their calculated individual Estimated Family Contribution, ensuring that they can close the gap between the "demonstrated" financial need and true financial need. The best part: students do not have to pay back the money raised, only provide tokens of appreciation to send as a thank you to donors.
While the crowdfunding model has been applied to everything from environmental start-ups to creative projects, there has been no foray into the world of education. Takeashine is a first-of-its-kind model that uses the proven effectiveness of crowdfunding to ensure students can meet their higher education costs. It is the ultimate learning-enabling technology: students are not only able to attend college through Takeashine but gain valuable business and marketing skills throughout the process. Students will go through an application process, where their background information will be thoroughly vetted and checked. Once accepted as a Takeashine fellow, they will have a set number of days to raise their target amount of money. The page will be almost completely customizable for each student, with ways to upload three "supporting documents" to their profile or link to outside sources of their work. This could be anything from something formal like a resume, to a photo of a sculpture they made, to a video of them performing a soliloquy from King Lear. A "donor's comments" section will also be available on the site. Takeashine is learning, technology and social improvement all in one. Please visit our website: http://takeashine.org or read founder Sarah Baird's interview with Just BE Cause (http://justbecausebook.com/2011/just-be-cause-sarah-baird) to learn more.
Sarah, CEO of Takeashine, made her name in the world of politics and government, where she was a well-known change agent and intrapreneur from the inside-out. Her history of taking faltering organizations and helping them not only recover, but succeed, can be seen in her relaunch of a oncefloundering African Studies Center, as well as rocketing a dark horse candidate from dead-last to Governor of Kentucky. She honed her management skills as Deputy Chief-of-Staff for Kentucky's Lieutenant Governor, then further developed her media and marketing prowess as the Governor's Press Secretary. She also served as his New Media Director: a position she created, executed, then spent months helping others to craft similar positions. Her own political consulting firm, Bread and Circuses Media, has seen enormous success in helping underdog candidates effectively manage, brand and get elected. She began work on Takeashine in 2010, in response to her experiences in developing education policy and programs. She brings a rich history of management, policy, branding, fundraising, marketing and big picture development in her role as CEO. Learn more about her on her website: http://scbaird.com.