2024 Awards

The Intrepid Philanthropy Foundation is proud to announce the recipients of the 2024 LIGHT Awards grants. The newly selected teams consist of 46 educators pursuing nine self-designed professional learning projects over the next two years. With the addition of these new teams, the LIGHT Awards program has supported over 500 educators in the Greater Bay Area in pursuing over 100 projects of their choice.

Launched in 2014, the LIGHT Awards (Leveraging Innovation by Growing and Honoring Teachers) provide teachers with funding to pursue the professional learning they find most meaningful. Intrepid believes that its investment in LIGHT Awards grants leads to professional and personal growth for participants, deeper collegial connections, and changes in instructional practices that positively impact students. Research has found that participating in a LIGHT team creates a significant positive impact on teachers’ professional identities, with many reporting increased satisfaction and camaraderie in their work as a result of their involvement.

Projects selected for the 2024-2026 cohort include:

  • A team of high school science teachers will learn new teaching methods to empower their multilingual students. Their project will equip the educators with strategies, resources, and reflective practices to improve the student experience. At the end of their project, the educators aim to lead more inspiring and engaged science classrooms where all students participate and thrive.
  • A team of elementary educators seeks to reinvigorate curriculum across grade levels with project-based learning units infused with best practices in Dual Language and Universal Design for Learning. The team hopes the new units will improve student achievement, restore enthusiasm for real-world learning, and inspire other educators throughout the school.

Karen Leshner, founder of the Intrepid Philanthropy Foundation, shared:

“I offer my heartfelt congratulations to our new LIGHT educators. Speaking for both myself and the LIGHT Advisory Team, we can’t wait to meet each of you as you launch these ambitious projects. With these grants, we recognize and honor the importance of educators in American society, as well as their vital role in inspiring the hearts and minds of students.”

The 2024-2026 LIGHT Awards cohort consists of educators from the following nine schools:

  • Cadwallader School – San Jose. Project title: “Transforming our Kinder-First Grade Literacy Program”
  • Madison Park Academy – Oakland. Project title: “Cultivating Conversation: Increasing Student Talk in the Classroom”
  • Manzanita SEED Elementary School – Oakland. Project title: “Returning to Our Roots: Crafting Empowering Learning”
  • John Muir Elementary School – San Francisco. Project title: “Unlocking the Science of Biliteracy”
  • Oakland Technical High School – Oakland. Project title: “Cultivating our Collective Efficacy to Support Future Social Justice Leaders”
  • William C. Overfelt High School – San Jose. Project title: “Ecosystems of Ethnic Studies for Social Justice”
  • San Mateo High School – San Mateo. Project title: “Equity for SMHS Science Students”
  • Tomales High School – Tomales. Project title: “Inquiry to Empower Collective Efficacy”
  • Yu Ming Charter School – Oakland. Project title: “Bilingual DEI through Project Based Learning

Learn more about each project.

For further information about the LIGHT Awards, visit lightawards.org

For information about Intrepid Philanthropy Foundation, visit intrepid-philanthropy.org