Jason Martin, public education activist
Jason Martin founded the not-for-profit Community Guilds in 2013 to transform public education. Through Community Guilds, kids tackle real problems, design solutions, get their hands dirty and then, with community experts, build amazing innovations together. Community Guilds harnesses the power of the maker movement to provide apprenticeship learning and entrepreneurship, as well as school-based programs that seek to both ignite a love of learning in students and transform teaching in schools.
To close growing inequities and ensure all kids thrive, he created a vehicle — literally and figuratively — that brings this experience and parks it right outside the classroom door. STE(A)M Truck, is mobile makerspace that launched 2014 and, three years later, is a growing fleet that serves over 4,000 elementary and middle-school youth each year.
Jason holds degrees from Columbia and Rutgers University and started working in public education after serving as a Teach For America Corps member. He taught in some of the lowest performing schools in New Jersey, was awarded Teacher of the Year, and helped launch the first charter school in New York City.
Prior to his work at Community Guilds, Jason worked as a school turnaround expert and policy wonk, but believes he learned what it takes to be an effective educational reformer from his work as a mason’s apprentice, kindergarten teacher, and Outward Bound instructor.
Jason lives with his wife and two daughters on an organic farm in Atlanta, Georgia.