Here at Real World Scholars, we know that rich classroom experiences are created by rockstar educators willing to hand over the reins to students and get out of the way. In fact, the EdCorps Community is made up of educators who do just that! That’s why we’ll be highlighting an educator every month who’s leaning into the entrepreneurial experience in ways that empower their students.
EdCorp Founder: Kim Kriedeman
Grade: 7th Grade
Speed dating. Jeopardy. Holiday Parties. Guest Speakers…It’s no wonder Kim Kriedeman’s 7th grade students have been successfully running their EdCorp, VIDA Dreamers, for the past 3 years (pause for applause)!! Kim was looking for new opportunities, and if you catch a glimpse into the fabulous life of VIDA Dreamers, it’s clear she has taken this role with stride. Want to take a gander yourself? If you can’t visit VIDA Dreamers HQ at the Vista Innovation & Design Academy in Vista, California, peek at Kims twitter (@KimKriedeman & @VIDADreamers). She is constantly sharing her learnings and experiences with our community, and the world!
Kim was lucky enough to inherit VIDA Dreamers three years ago. Her challenge was to take something that was already established and figure out how to make it her own. Although this change of ownership resulted in some failures, Kim says, that she “spent some time reflecting on what I did wrong and involved the students so they could experience the same struggle.”
VIDA Dreamers is a button business run by students in the character leadership class at VIDA. The students design and manufacture custom buttons directly in their classroom. The most amazing part? A majority of their profits are donated to global WE Charities as well as local food banks and homeless shelters. The joy on their faces as they raise money for causes locally and globally has shone a light on the key to helping students find ownership in their learning. It’s no wonder why their motto is “VIDA Dreamers- changing the world one button at a time.”
Through her own leadership, the EdCorps experience, and connecting with professionals from various industries, the growth of these young entrepreneurs has been overwhelming. The students have gained valuable real life skills that are quite impressive! Kim says that her students are now “communicating clearly with confidence, connecting with others on a deeper level, understanding many aspects of running a business from product development, manufacturing, marketing, distribution, and budgeting.”
Kim is such a wonderful member of our EdCorps Community and we are very excited to honor her as the March Founder of the Month. We’ve loved watching VIDA Dreamers grow over the past few years and appreciate her willingness to learn alongside her students. In the wise words of Yoda, “The greatest teacher, failure is.” (Oh, and this happens to be Kim’s favorite quote).