This post is part of a special “Meet the Finalists” series, featuring Q&A with the five Reach Higher Career App Challenge finalists.
Today’s Meet the Finalists post features Q&A with MARi, a school and career coach app that brings together assessments, capability mapping, and achievement validation, along with personalized career and education opportunities into a comprehensive map of the labor market. MARi is an intelligently connected network that continuously tracks student progress to create a visual gap analysis and alert students of local opportunities.
Why is this Challenge important to you? What inspired you to work on this type of app?
We passionately believe that all students have such amazing potential within themselves. And, we have seen the transformative power of data when, through an app, students can see how they are progressing to both academic and skill-related goals that they have chosen. MARi wants to empower all students to reach higher – especially those students, that for whatever reason, have special needs and circumstances that are not as easily addressed.
What have been your biggest challenges and successes in developing your app?
MARi works to connect many data sources together for the direct benefit of the student. Unfortunately, many education apps and data systems are not built to securely share this information. The good news is that this is slowly changing and competitions like the Reach Higher Career App Challenge are helping to highlight the benefits of connected systems.
Your team has now completed the Virtual Accelerator, which included expert mentorship and curated learning modules. What’s the biggest insight you’ve uncovered through this process so far?
The Virtual Accelerator brought together so many different insights from students, counselors, and industry experts. It’s been an amazing experience. Our greatest insights came from the school counselors. The challenges they face, even from different parts of the country were so very similar. Their passion and dedication to the success of their students – very inspiring to the MARi Team!
What else do you hope to learn at Demo Day?
At Demo Day, the MARi Team has an opportunity to present before a distinguished group of individuals that have been working on student career and college readiness – day in and day out through their various roles. We are very excited to get their feedback on our app and the direction we are headed. MARi is also in this for the long haul and we believe the relationships we begin at Demo Day, including getting to know the other finalist teams, will carry forward to future long-term success.