Shannon May is an anthropologist, she Co-Founded Bridge International Academies, an innovative company launching a franchise of low-cost schools to serve impoverished families and informal settlements, across developing nations.

While conducting research in rural China, Shannon saw close-up how primary education was failing already impoverished families. The experience prompted her to research how children could be taught the skills they need to thrive, harnessing data and technology to make a replicable and affordable model of education. The result was Bridge International Academies, the world’s largest private provider of nursery and primary education for families living on $2 a day or less. Bridge International, which charges $6 a month on average, launched its first school in Nairobi in 2009. It has now expanded across Africa, educating over 100,000 pupils, and plans to reach 10 million children across a dozen countries by 2025.

If the status quo in education is kept, 2070 will see all girls in rural girls areas, complete primary education. There is a need to examine how an education system that systematically excludes marginalized populations has been created. Little is being done with urgency to ensure that every girl has access to a classroom not just to sit, but to learn.

Shannon May is a Rural Diamond; bringing to fore a dream that prepares for girls to become women leaders in the generations to come by ensuring that every girl is educated and has the chance to fulfill her potential.

Shannon May, Founder of Bridge International Academies
Shannon May, Founder of Bridge International Academies

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