Gabriel Bran Lopez

Ashoka Fellow
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Fellow Since 2011


This profile was prepared when Gabriel Bran Lopez was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2011.
The New Idea
Gabriel is engaging students and building a new education curriculum, drawing on the students’ interests. He is giving voice to high school students and building a partnership-based system that upgrades the education system and engages and retains students. Gabriel targets students who are most at risk of not graduating and lets them identify programming of interest to them, such as robotics, performance, and journalism. These classes supplement core curriculum and give students a reason to show up to school, get excited about something, and achieve success. Gabriel ensures that high school students sit on the selection committees and have a key voice in choosing the project coordinators hired from local universities and colleges to manage programs in their high schools. As such, he is demystifying post-secondary education, increasing student engagement, and showing youth an array of career opportunities.

University and college students are key actors in Gabriel’s program; serving as project coordinators at schools. Gabriel ensures there are three to five coordinators in each high school to develop and implement programming catered to the students’ interests. He is creating a movement of action-oriented post-secondary students and recent graduates. They gain experience launching sustainable programming and also engage with the challenges and opportunities within the public education system. In this way, Gabriel is seeding their lifelong growth as engaged citizens. He is also influencing teacher-training curriculum, by giving aspiring teachers the tools to make learning fun and relevant to their classes.

Gabriel is influencing the education system and the communities around each school by changing student, family, teacher, and administration perceptions of students’ capabilities. By creating conditions for success and highlighting student achievement through performances and recognition at conferences and competitions, Gabriel is affirming student potential and therefore changing the way the system around them supports future achievement.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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