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Grinnell student innovation connects with prize winners

Grinnell student Kevin Jennison ’12 is a cofounder of the online charity program called Tab for a Cause, which recently added the Young Innovator Prize program Educate! to their choices of charities for donation. Jennison was able to meet Boris Bulayev and Eric Glustrom of Educate! at the Social Justice Prize symposium in October.

“I was lucky enough to spend a lot of time with the co-founders of Educate!, Boris and Eric, and they were really inspiring and really passionate. And just being able to talk about them about how they went about creating and expanding their charity seemed to really apply to what we were doing,” Jennison said. “It’s really neat, because they started off as complete beginners just like Alex [Groth, cofounder] and I did, with pretty much no knowledge of how to run a business or program. I guess we could understand each other.”

Tab for a Cause is a not-for-profit organization that helps one give easily to a cause they are passionate about. After installing the Tab for a Cause extension, every few tabs that open on a web page are redirected to donations for charities. The organization is new and relies on its partnerships with other charities.

Educate! is an organization whose mission statement is to educate and empower the next generation of socially responsible leaders in Africa. Educate! envisions an Africa in which all students are prepared to better their communities and develop solutions to the challenges facing their continent. 

“Educate! is a cause that I think a lot of people can get behind and I think that’s really what we’re looking for is sort of like, universal causes that everyone gets. It’s a universally good idea to educate people. I think that’s a really nice cause to have on our site,” said Alex Groth, cofounder of Tab for a Cause and a fourth year at Pomona College in California.

The curriculum of Educate! is focused on the skills and experience students need to find solutions to poverty, violence, disease and environmental degradation. The teachers are mentors who build powerful relationships that give youth confidence to lead change. And the classroom is the community itself, where the Educate! students start initiatives that solve the greatest challenges facing their communities.

“I think their hands-on approach is incredibly innovative. They deserve the prize that they got. It’s right in line with what Grinnell seeks to do in the world and how we’re hoping to effect the world positively,” Jennison said.

The connection between Jennison and the co-founders of Educate! wasn’t all about the charities themselves. A large part of communication and conversation between the two was on the business end of things.

“First, I started asking about the challenges that they have had to overcome and constantly face in managing people and managing a company. Honestly, the majority of the conversation that I had with them was about how to effectively communicate to not only friends, but your audience,” Jennison said. “I really think that that is the main difficulty that almost every company faces. It’s being able to unite everyone around what we’re trying to accomplish and overcome disagreements.”

Both sides of the connection are passionate about their cause and about this added link between school and prize winners. Not only will Grinnell College continue to work with and support Educate!; now, individual students are making that bond as well.

“We’re really excited about this and I would like to thank Kevin for this connection. It’s awesome and we’re all really enthusiastic. It seemed like a really brilliant idea and it was easy for us to get behind it,” said Boris Bulayev, cofounder of Educate!, over a telephone interview.

You can download the add-on to donate to Tab for a Cause at, where you can choose from several charities to donate to, including Educate!.

“I would like to add, just because I have this opportunity, to thank Boris and Eric for what they’ve taught me so far and for their willingness to continue to support us. We look forward to having a lasting relationship with them,” Jennison said.

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