Fredericksburg Parent

August 2014

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16 Fredericksburg Parent and Family • August 2014 Local Resident Aims to Simplify Fundraising Efforts: Q & A with Christine Goodwin of WishStars By KErry PiNTO Fredericksburg Parent: Tell us about your background. Christine Goodwin: i grew up on a dirt road in spotsylvania. i wrote my first line of code (BasiC) in 1979 on an atari 800 that i got for Christmas. i graduated from spotsylvania High school in 1987 and went to Virginia Tech for Engineering; hated it. i quit in 1990 and finished my degree at University of Mary Washington in Liberal studies. i started cod- ing 30 days after graduating and started my first company eight months later. i have never had just one job. FP: What is Wishstars? CG: Wishstars is a social crowdfunding platform that connects K-12 educators/ students with businesses and donors to get resources into the classroom. Current resources requested include iPad air tablets for a robotics class, iPads and Kindles for 1st and 2nd grade literacy centers, software and headphone for independent reading, funding for robotics teams, sTEM academy scholarships, and band uniforms and equip- ment. Our mantra is simplify, Connect, and Transform. We believe that by connecting classrooms to companies and donors to get the resources they need, they can become the place where success is defined not just by a test score, and where students and teachers can iterate on ideas using relevant tools with help from people with experience doing this for a living. Christine Goodwin is the founder of WishStars, a new, innovative fundraising platform. Here, she discusses the concept with FredParent. FP: How did you come up with Wishstars? CG: it all started with a nuclear meltdown over a bling ring that my daughter wasn't going to get if i didn't fill out forms with personal data that her school had sent home as part of a fundraiser. i was angry that the mar- keting firm would make millions, the school would get maybe $3,000, and my daughter was still cutting and pasting with a glue stick instead of a mouse. My kids — like most kids — are big idea fairies. The tipping point came driving my daughter to school one morning. she had this big idea for making an app that would use 3d technology for projects that was really cool. i watched her walk into school to take an sOL and remembered thinking that it just seemed backwards to me that class- rooms aren't designed for innovating. We have infra- structure and highly trained teachers, many of whom are incredibly innovative and creative, but what the schools don't have is access to resources like technology, exper- tise, mentors and other professional resources. in the startup world, it is hard to find the infrastructure and the dedicated personnel to run an incubator, and yet the schools have that baked in. When my daughter got out of the car that morning, i became determined to flip the model for classrooms. WishStars is a social crowdfunding platform... to get resources into the classroom.

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