The Holiday Party 2015
Practice Makes Perfect
Narrowing the Achievement Gap
Studies have shown that two-thirds of the educational achievement gap can be attributed to unequal summer learning opportunities between low and high-income youth. Students from low-income neighborhoods can lose up to 3.5 months of learning each summer because of limited or no access to quality educational opportunities like summer camps, family time, and trips to museums, parks, and libraries. Consequently, teachers in low-income neighborhoods spend the first six weeks of every year “re-teaching” material from the previous year - further compounding the gap in educational attainment which studies have shown correlates to unequal access to colleges and careers.
Practice Makes Perfect ("PMP") eliminates the summer learning loss for students, K-12, in high-need socioeconomically disadvantaged neighborhoods in New York City through a "near-peer" mentorship model.
PMP’s summer programs pair skills development for younger students with leadership development, career training and college prep for older students. Through a unique multi-relational approach, PMP strategically matches academically struggling elementary and middle school students with older, higher achieving mentor peers from the same low-income neighborhoods. Trained college interns and certified teachers supervise the “near-peer” mentorship for the five-week, full-day academic experience.
Aaron Holiday is the Managing Entrepreneurial Officer at Cornell Tech in NYC and co-founder of 645 Ventures. Aaron is building the Engaged Learning and Studio Culture at Cornell Tech, where he and his colleagues are inventing a new tech educational framework that will spawn more startup formation and pioneering technologists in NYC. At 645 Ventures, Aaron is investing in passionate, high caliber founders who are building software and internet businesses for inefficient and under-targeted markets.
Prior to becoming a leader in the venture capital and startup community, Aaron spent 6 years on Wall Street developing advanced financial trading technology and algorithms at Goldman Sachs and GFI Group.
Aaron earned his MBA from Cornell University and holds a BS in Computer Science from Morehouse College.
Natasha is a Director at RBC Capital Markets where she originates business amongst large city and state governmental entities to fund public infrastructure. Natasha has worked in the municipal finance industry as a banker and financial advisor for the past 8 years and has structured, financed and/or advised on nearly $9 billion of municipal bond transactions.
Her experience prior to finance includes work for the late Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-OH); language access initiatives for the City of New York; and a run for elective office in 2010 which resulted in a 106-vote loss. Natasha is a political enthusiast, avid basketball fan (Go Nets!), and most importantly mom to son, Aaron IV, born August 31, 2014.
Natasha earned her MPP from Harvard University Kennedy School of Government and holds a BA in History/BS in Political Science from Xavier University (OH), where she currently serves as a member of the Board of Trustees.