GET TO KNOW US

GripTape is an initiative committed to putting young people in the driver’s seat of their learning. We create opportunities for youth to follow their passions — as inventors, designers, and producers, actively constructing their path for success and supporting other young people to do the same.

The GripTape Learning Challenge is a call to action to youth to design, create, and execute their own learning journeys. We give our Challengers full decision-making authority over the what, when, where, how, and why of their learning; grants up to $500 to pursue their passion; a champion to offer encouragement; and one to three months to complete their journey.

Check out our FAQ and former Challengers.

-The GripTape Team

YOUTH LEADERSHIP BOARD

 Bemnet Molla 

22
ANNANDALE, VA

bmolla@vt.edu

As a member of GripTape, I work on the Youth Leadership Board to develop and expand the number of partnerships we have with adult and youth-led organizations. I joined the Board in the summer of 2016 and have committed to the mission since. I am passionate about giving students control of their own education and allowing them to guide their learning. In my free time, I am a student studying towards earning a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering at Virginia Tech. I will be graduating in 2019 and plan to continue my education in hopes of earning a master’s degree in engineering.

David Clark

20
MILLSBORO, DE

davclark@udel.edu

Hello all, my name is David Clark, a student at the University of Delaware studying Hospitality Business Management. I am from Delaware and enjoy all types of music, the beach, staying active, and being “mixy” (or social). I am excited to have been a part of the GripTape family since the very beginning and seeing the growth and impact this work is having on my peers. I deeply believe in the importance of a worthwhile education that extends beyond memorization and quizzes, but is something that makes you excited to learn more and grow in that field. I look forward to the impact GripTape continues to have with education redesign and am eager to work with more youth!

Femi Adebogun 

18
BALTIMORE, MD

femi@testifyschool.com

I am a 17-year-old high school senior from Baltimore, MD. In addition to serving on GripTape’s Youth Leadership Board, I run an edtech startup in Washington, D.C. called Testify and am very involved in many organizations. I’m passionate about empowering youth like me to do amazing things and reach our full potentials, as well as solving huge global issues. When I’m not on another plane traveling somewhere, you can usually catch me playing piano or shooting my upcoming documentary, Slave to the Friendzone.

Kaitlyn Jenkins 

20
DULUTH, MN

kaitlynjenkins32@yahoo.com

Hi! My name is Kaitlyn Jenkins, and I am a 19-year old from Minnesota. I joined the Youth Leadership Board with GripTape in the summer of 2016. I am in college for Early Childhood Education, and I am working as an assistant preschool teacher in my hometown. I love photography, exploring, and getting to be a part of the GripTape family!

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Shania Trammell 

21
SEAFORD, DE

strammel@villanova.edu

I am a Political Science major at Villanova University. I enjoy all things politics and all things commentary. I take a great interest in students being key in their learning journeys because the path from high school and college should not be THAT jolting. Students should not have to ask permission to follow their educational dreams. I aspire to be a civil rights lawyer and a political analyst for a major news network.

Nate Simpson

17
APPOMATTOX, VA

throughnathan@gmail.com

Hi, I’m Nate, a young entrepreneur and web developer with a passion for improving education with modern tools. I enjoy working with young people to better understand how we can fix education! I love technology, travel, and getting to know new people. Feel free to reach out if you’d like to connect.

Nigeria Segure-Watson

19
BROOKLYN, NY

nigeriasw@gmail.com

I was a Challenger in the first-ever GripTape Learning Challenge! As my topic of choice, I learned about advertising and marketing, and single-handedly coordinated a photo shoot as part of my learning journey. Through the Learning Challenge, I examined how advertising works for businesses and effective ways of branding an organization. In the fall of 2016, I joined the GripTape Youth Leadership Board as its 9th member. I am also a high school student and involved in multiple extracurricular activities as well as The Future Project at my school.

Deborah Olatunji

15
NEW CASTLE, DE

kdeboraholatunji@gmail.com

I am a high school junior at the Charter School of Wilmington in Delaware. I have been an aspiring missionary doctor for the past eight years, and I am currently working towards going on a mission trip before I graduate high school. I am the founder of an education-based consulting start-up, am working on a goal to write a book, and have been creating captivating photography. As a GripTape Board member, I plan to work closely with motivated game-changers to fix our current ‘one-size-fits-all’ education system and give students a chance to truly discover and love what they take interest in. While these details are important to the aspects of my character, the main legacy that I want to spread is God’s love and how he has been the most powerful guide and supporter in my life.

Abby Rowheder 

BOARD MEMBER EMERITUS

17
DULUTH, MN

abbyroh3@gmail.com

I am from Duluth, MN. I love anything to do with nature, and you will most likely find me in the woods 90% of the time. Growing up in a smaller city, I had many interests that my schools were not available to teach, so I grew to teach myself many of the things I know now. After realizing the efficiency and compelling nature of a learner-centered system, I became involved in the movement. My involvement with GripTape goes back to before GripTape had its name. Every learner is different, and I believe that no matter what, everyone should be offered the same opportunities to follow their passions. When I joined a small Youth Advisory Board my junior year of high school, I voiced just that. And what followed was something amazing.

Tasha Taylor 

BOARD ADVISOR

21
DOVER, DE

n.a.t.0110@hotmail.com

As a sophomore at Delaware State University, I’ve found a way to be on the move at all times while maintaining a full course load. I do my best work in high volumes. Keeping busy keeps me sane … and helps me justify my indulgence in tattoos (eight) and traveling. There’s a lot to me and what I do. In the beginning, being invited to work with GripTape was a daunting request. But I was told it would be solely for youth, by youth. After the first meeting (maybe the second one), I knew that we were on to something and planned to see this initiative through until … well … forever. We created GripTape. I believe in our purpose. That’s what brings me to GripTape.