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FROM AP PSYCH TO CHANGING THE FACE OF SOCIAL MEDIA, MR. PARSONS SAW A NEED IN HIS STUDENTS AND DID SOMETHING ABOUT IT….

I have been a teacher for the last 23 years, I am the proud dad of two young boys, and I strongly believe that education is so much more than just reducing a child to a standardized test score.  Education is about helping students become well-rounded and thoughtful individuals. Therefore, I and several other CPS teachers created PopScholar.com.

WHAT WAS THE IMPETUS FOR FOUNDING POPSCHOLAR AND WHY YOU FEEL THIS SOLUTION IS EFFECTIVE FOR THE VARIOUS CHALLENGES STUDENTS ARE FACING?

I teach at a school, Lane Tech, where over 60% of the students meet the federal criteria for free or reduced lunch.  The students I teach are also wonderful, brilliant, and very talented. Finally, my students love social media. So I put all those ingredients together and came up with an education social media platform that allows students to show off all the goals they are accomplishing while at the same time earning real cash rewards from family members, friends, and businesses who want to show students they care.

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For businesses, PopScholar offers a unique opportunity to advertise to students.  Rather then spending money on a billboard or a tv ad or even a Facebook ad, PopScholar allows businesses to send PopScholar Dollars directly to students.  Students can then use their PopScholar Dollars to claim MicroScholarships (gift cards) they can use to get the resources they need to be successful in school.  We hope to eventually include MicroScholarships that can be invested in a college savings account.

Income inequality and college affordability are both terrible problems impacting young people; at the same time young people are always on their smart phone looking at their favorite social media site making tech billionaires wealthier and wealthier while they struggle to pay their tuition or even afford a meal.  PopScholar flips the script and puts the ad revenue directly into the hands of the students who need it.

Fundamentally education, is about motivating students to set goals and do their best in life so that they can take ownership of their learning, their life and their future.  PopScholar helps students clear obstacles out of their way so they can achieve success.

PopScholar helps students get on and stay on the pathway to success by providing them with the support and resources they need to improve their lives, and, as our motto says, improving the lives of students improves the world for us all.