Garrett Smiley - Co-Founder at Sora Schools - Reimagining High School

Garrett Smiley is the Co-Founder of Sora Schools, an education startup based in Atlanta. Sora is an online, project-based high school where students explore their interests, learn however is best for them, and gain exposure to future careers and fields of work.

Imagine a project-based environment where students start their own projects, choose their own timeline, and set their own evaluation metrics. Imagine a school where teachers serve as "learning experts", providing topical expertise to students as needed and collaborating with students on their projects. Is this the high school of the future?

On Episode 19 of Skill, Micah shares a conversation with Garrett Smiley, the Co-Founder of Sora Schools, an education startup based in Atlanta. Sora is an online, project-based high school where students explore their interests, learn however is best for them, and gain exposure to future careers and fields of work. Sora students work online for four days a week, then come together with every student in their region's cohort once per week.

Prior to co-founding Sora, Garrett co-founded a charity that built wells in developing countries and taught financial literacy to foster kids. He is also a Venture Partner at Contrary Capital, a pre-seed, university-focused VC firm made up of a nationwide network of over 50 universities.

Throughout this conversation, Garrett and Micah cover the following topics:
  • How Garrett and his family founded Drops of Love, a non-profit to help build clean water wells in developing countries
  • Garrett's first foray into education, with a project called FLiP
  • How Sora works and what they do
  • How Sora deals with parent questions around "frivolous" projects, socialization, and sports
  • What students think about Sora
  • What's next for Sora
  • A vision for a new future of high schooling
Links:
You can connect with Garrett on Twitter @gw_smiles

You can connect with Micah at micah "at" meritmark.co OR on Twitter @MicahMerrick

Thanks for listening!

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