As a student and immigrant from South Korea, Heejae Lim saw firsthand how language can affect a child’s access to education.

She noticed a pattern among her friends’ parents: Those who spoke English had better communication with teachers and more involvement in their child’s school life, which increased the quality of their child’s education. Conversely, parents who did not speak English were often limited in how effectively they could engage with teachers and take an active role in managing their child’s education.

The team at TalkingPoints want to change that. Here’s how:

TalkingPoints wants to help close the gap in access to a quality education — which affects 30 million people in low-income, diverse communities in the U.S. — by bridging language barriers. To meet that goal, Heejae and her team have created a multilingual parent-teacher engagement platform.

It features two-way translation that enables parents, teachers and students to communicate more directly and effectively. Teachers and parents can message one another directly to discuss a student, rather than rely on students to act as translators. This allows for a 1:1 relationship that otherwise wouldn’t be possible. The technology also includes personalized content that aims to create a more inclusive educational experience for students of all backgrounds.

Heejae and the team at TalkingPoints believe their platform can unlock the potential for student success and also narrow the achievement gap.

The Innovation Challenge is sponsored by Samsung NEXT and produced in partnership with NationSwell. In America, not everyone has the same access to education, workforce development, and economic empowerment. We’re looking for exceptional entrepreneurs who are using technology to close this opportunity gap. The winner will receive $25,000 to further their work, $13,000 in Samsung technology and a one-year membership to the NationSwell Council.

To meet our five finalists, visit www.nationswell.com/samsungnext


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