Good schools aren't good enough

Zoya Lytvyn

Zoya Lytvyn knows that the best investment that a government can make for its citizens is in its education system.

That’s why she's changing the way Ukraine educates its children. She founded Novopecherska School — a K-12 school serving 500 children with its own unique curriculum developed by experts from the Netherlands, Great Britain and Canada to combine Ukrainian national standards with international cutting-edge teaching techniques.

Novopecherska focuses on preparing children for the world ahead, building them as changemakers and global citizens — an approach that led to the school being named one of the most innovative schools in the world and the model for the Ukrainian education system.

But good schools aren't enough. Zoya wants to ensure every child has access to school, which is why she founded Osvitoria NGO as a nonprofit partner to Novopecherska. Novopecherska's profits are co-invested in Osvitoria NGO to partner with orphanages to make sure every child has access to a top-notch education, no matter their circumstances. 

Zoya, Novopecherska and Osvitoria NGO are changing the face of education, and Arizona State University's Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability, along with all of our lead partners, is excited to support Zoya’s leadership story as a 2019 WE Empower UN SDG Challenge awardee.

A unique business competition, WE Empower provides the five entrepreneurs — one woman from each UN region using her business to advance the UN Sustainable Development Goals — with a week of leadership trainings, skill-building workshops and high-level dialogues in conjunction with the UN General Assembly and the chance to pitch their business for a $20,000 prize. The ASU Wrigley Institute and our WE Empower partners are excited to be in New York with Zoya this week and even more excited by the future she’s creating.

Enjoy stories like Zoya’s? Follow @WEEmpowerSDG and the #WEEmpower this week on Twitter, and be sure to learn more about the WE Empower UN SDG Challenge.

A version of this story originally appeared in a newsletter by Vital Voices.