Forbes' 30 under 30 in education

The annual 30 Under 30 in Education roundup by Forbes features impressive young entrepreneurs and innovators making a difference in the field.

The education list is one of several that Forbes releases each year highlighting rising stars across different industries. Writing for EdSurge, Stephen Noonoo breaks the list into four categories: nonprofits and community engagement, creatives, college and career readiness, and "founders galore." Here is this year's list:

Nonprofits and community engagement

  • Danielle Hughes (26), founder of Detroit Speaks;
  • Fatema Basrai (27), executive director of Leadership SAISD;
  • Elyse Burden (28), founder of Real World Scholars;
  • Allyson Dias (28), program manager of the Thiel Fellowship;
  • Jomayra Herrera (24), analyst at the Emerson Collective;
  • Ricky Hurtado (28) and Elaine Townsend Utin (27), cofounders of the Latinx Initiative;
  • Melissa Lee (28),  cofounder of The GREEN Program;
  • Jesse Vaughan (28), cofounder of Landed; and
  • Jonathan García (28) senior director of strategic partnerships and external affairs at Portland Public Schools.


  • Richard Williams (29), poet, filmmaker and human rights activist;
  • Shiv Gaglani (28), cofounder of Osmosis;
  • Tony Weaver (23), founder of Weird Enough Productions;
  • Emily Graslie (28), chief curiosity correspondent of The Field Museum; and
  • Mark Pavlyukovskyy (26), cofounder of Piper.

The 50 greatest leaders: See who made the cut from higher ed

College and career readiness

  • Richard Werbe (24), cofounder of Studypool;
  • Michael Benko (28) and E.J. Carrion (28), cofounders of the Student Success Agency;
  • Vinay Bhaskara (23), Zack Perkins (22), and Johan Zhang (22), cofounders of College Vine;
  • Christoper Rim (22), founder of Command Education Group;
  • Katie Fang (26), founder of SchooLinks;
  • Justin Ling (28), cofounder of EquitySim; and
  • Ryan Williams (28), cofounder of Jopwell.

Founders galore

  • Raza Munir (29), cofounder of Climb Credit;
  • Yoran Brondsema (28) and Thomas Ketchell (29), cofounders of Sutori;
  • Xiaohoa Michelle Ching (27) founder of Literator;
  • Andrew Hill (29), cofounder of LiftED;
  • Nick Garvin, founder of Stackup;
  • Jackie Li (28), Maggie Peng (28), Jack Tai (28), Kevin Wu (29), cofounders of OneClass;
  • Arjun Singh (29), cofounder of GradeScope;
  • Andrew Hermalyn (29), executive vice president of university partnerships and programs for 2U; and
  • Hilary Shirazi (29), senior manager of corporate development at LinkedIn.

Writing for the Washington Post, Valerie Strauss acknowledges that this year's honorees do valuable work, but argues that Forbes should have included more first-hand educators and school administrators. There are several million teachers in the United States, she points out, and not one of them made the list (Conklin/Howard, Forbes, accessed 11/16; Noonoo, EdSurge, 11/15; Strauss, Washington Post, 11/14).

See last year's list

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