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Youth Service America has announced the 11 finalists in its second annual Fund for Social Entrepreneurs competition.

The Washington-based alliance of youth-service groups launched the fund to provide training and seed money to young entrepreneurs creating nonprofit service ventures. Last year, it selected seven winners to receive $36,000 in start-up money and $100,000 worth of technical assistance over two years.

All of this year's finalists are focusing their service ventures, from mentoring projects to service-learning programs to youth-written magazines, on school-age youngsters.

Among the finalists is Julie Kennedy, 24, the founder of D.C. Scores, an after-school program in Washington that evolved out of a soccer league she started at the elementary school where she taught. D.C. Scores provides tutoring, creative-writing instruction, and community-service opportunities for elementary school students. (See Education Week, May 10, 1995.)

Six winners will be selected following a round of interviews in Washington this month with a panel of public- and private-sector entrepreneurs.

Interest in the competition has increased considerably since its debut last year. Sixty-three individuals completed applications, more than double the number who applied in 1995.

The Conference Board, a New York City-based membership organization of education and business leaders, has issued its annual "Best in Class" awards to corporate partnerships that help improve K-12 education.

The 1996 winners are:

  • Arthur Andersen & Co., for its "School of the Future" program, a set of management principles for schools, which emphasize science, technology, and interdisciplinary learning.
  • The Bell Atlantic Corp., for its technology partnership with the Union City, N.J., public schools. The project has helped place computers in classrooms as well as in teachers' and students' homes.
  • The International Paper Co. for EDCORE, its Education and Community Resources program, an effort to improve the quality of education in 50 communities with large concentrations of company employees.
  • Pfizer Inc., for the Pfizer Education Initiative, an effort to increase middle school students' interest in math and science.
  • Union Carbide Corp., for its partnership with the St. Charles Parish, La., schools. The 10-year endeavor is centered on teacher autonomy, parent involvement, school-based management, raised expectations of student performance, and strong accountability measures.

--Meg Sommerfeld
msommer@epe.org

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