Emma Hiza is the co-founder and executive director of Thrival Academy, a study abroad public high school providing students from underserved communities access to personalized and culturally immersive education.
The Thrival Academy model is a one-year, publicly-funded, credit-bearing study abroad experience split into three parts: two months in Indianapolis pre-departure, five months of in-country study and return and capstone completion for the final two months of the academic year.
Her proposed school in Indianapolis will serve 10th and 11th graders.
Teachers at Thrival Academy-Indianapolis will be advisors who work individually with students to help them develop personal learning plans and provide academic content. The school will utilize project-based learning, with small group projects focused on content mastery and longer projects grounded in the context of the international community utilizing design thinking to identify and address a problem.
The school will feature blended learning, with students participating in credit-bearing, self-paced, virtual courses. The advisors supplement this learning with individualized tutoring and projects. Additionally, while abroad, students engage in culturally immersive internships in the international community two days per week.
Thrival Academies is launching a 20-student pilot program in Oakland in Fall 2016.
Emma is a passionate and experienced educator, curriculum designer and program director who has worked extensively in education and public health both domestically and overseas. Her work includes classroom instruction, curriculum design and teacher training across various contexts in the U.S, Bangladesh, Rwanda and Kenya. She has worked in public education in Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, DC and internationally with Partners In Health, the Asian University for Women and the McKinsey Social Initiative
She earned a bachelor’s and master’s degrees from John Hopkins University and a master’s degree from Arcadia University.