In October 2022, Magaga, HundrED Country Lead for Kenya, was invited to be the host of the Global Collection Awards Ceremony at the HundrED Innovation Summit. In preparation for the event, Magaga looked through the Global Collection report to read about the selected innovations. One innovation in particular stood out to him - Center for Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS) Network. He was drawn to their motto, where our students lead, as it defined for him, as an educator, what we should be working towards.
When he arrived in Helsinki, he met the vibrant Corey Mohn, the Executive Director of CAPS Network. According to Corey, “sometimes you end up gravitating towards certain people, and it just seemed like every time I was in a conversation in a room, I ended up talking to Magaga”. Corey was inspired by the extraordinary work that Magaga does as a teacher and his willingness to shift from the traditional way of teaching towards empowering young people to own their own learning. This mindset is one of the factors that makes the CAPS programme successful.
After the Innovation Summit, this connection continued. Magaga was inspired by the film, Where Students Lead, that documents the impact of the CAPS profession-based education model. The two of them even recorded two podcast episodes together about building community. Magaga became more and more interested in CAPS Network’s work, and was amazed by the way that CAPS students are not only learning but making an impact through their projects.
All of this synergy culminated when Magaga embarked on a tour of the United States meeting several education stakeholders as well as many HundrED community members. Eventually, he made a stop in Kansas City where the first CAPS programme originated and where the CAPS office is located. That’s when Corey asked what Magaga thought about his school in Kenya, BEADS Tembea Academy, officially becoming an affiliate member of the CAPS network.
Becoming an affiliate member of the CAPS network means that Magaga can connect with other educators in the network running the CAPS profession-based education model. The purpose of the network is to cross-connect and build a community of people with the same spirit for profession-based education. He will also have access to a resource bank of exercises for teachers. However, the main value of being part of the network is the human connection. Through the network, students can connect with other students from affiliate member schools and teachers can collaborate with one another to experiment new ideas. For example, Corey and Magaga have already planned to exchange classes - Magaga will be teaching a class of students from Kansas City while a teacher from Kansas City will teach Magaga’s students online.
The two took advantage of Magaga’s visit to Kansas City by hosting a celebration of Magaga’s school being incorporated as the 100th affiliate programme of the CAPS network - a rather fitting number given that they met through HundrED.
“I have been keeping a journal of my life's journey, and the graph showing my personal and professional growth has had a tremendous rise ever since I got connected with HundrED.”
Magaga and Corey’s story shows us just how powerful the HundrED community is. As Magaga shared, “Connection is far more important than an instant quick fix. . Building a network of connections allows you to get so much more beyond that”
Magaga highlighted how important it is for him to be connected to other innovators and educators around the world. “Because sometimes rising against traditional forms of education can be exhausting when you pursue it solo. But when you have a friend saying ‘Hey! We’re doing it! You don’t have to be left behind! Let’s get this going!’ Then, you feel like ‘Yeah! I don’t need to stop!’”.
For Corey, “being connected to HundrED and being part of that community and family has fundamentally shifted our capability to make impact and shifted our view of how we potentially scale to different places”. Because of these international connections, CAPS Network has started rethinking pathways on how to build partnerships. This partnership with Magaga is especially exciting because he will help them trailblaze a model of scaling beyond the United States and is meaningful because it shows how the CAPS network is making a difference.
Now, once Magaga settles back home after his long trip to the United States, Corey is really looking forward to getting this partnership started. Joining the network will be an amazing learning opportunity for both parties and we are also excited to see where this connection goes!