Jacob Allen

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Jacob Allen

2016 Black Male Achievement Fellow
Founder of pilotED Schools

Jacob Allen 2016 Black Male Achievement Fellow

Bold Idea 

Improve academic and life outcomes among students in Chicago by teaching a curriculum that develops a healthy personal identity within school students to be their own agents of achievement and change.


Jacob Allen, founder of pilotED Schools. Photos courtesy of pilotED Schools.

The path to transformation starts inside of the students and families who believe they have what it takes to win in life: an identity of success, beauty, and strength. Focusing on the development of a healthy identity, pilotED Schools prepares students and families to become leaders with a strong sense of self, agency, and enduring academic competitiveness. Knowing that imposed identities are not unique to urban Indianapolis, pilotED Schools looks to empower youth and their families across the nation through rigorous academics, community outreach, and parent empowerment models at their schools.


Prior to building a transformational school model in Indianapolis, Jacob Allen found success as a statewide Youth President with the NAACP of Wisconsin, as a curriculum developer at the University of Washington, as a Teach For America–Chicago corps member, and as a director for an education policy advocacy group in Washington State. For the vast majority of his life, Jacob has worked to ensure that traditionally unheard voices were at the forefront of education and policy. These experiences have led Jacob and his team to think deeply about the current and future impact that pilotED Schools will have on the urban education space, specifically addressing the issue of harmful imposed identities on urban students and their families. Jacob is a Forbes 30 Under 30 Recipient in Education, a 2016 NewSchools Venture Fellow, and a former Camelback Ventures Fellow, and he has been featured in articles by NBC Universal, The Aspen Institute and EdSurge.

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