Slayde Kerner and the Growth of CraftingEducation Academy
While many people have hobbies they enjoy, there are some who feel so passionate about what they do that their hobby becomes their business. In Slayde Kerner’s case, his love for Minecraft drove him to create a non-profit organization.
Kerner, a high school sophomore, is the founder/CEO of CraftingEducation Academy, a non-profit charitable educational organization with a mission to empower youth in Brevard County through technology and create future entrepreneurs. Using various forms of digital media, students enrolled in the Academy’s tuition-based programs learn creative thinking, collaboration, and leadership skills that are critical for a successful future in any career path.
It all started in 2012, when Kerner’s attention was drawn to a MinecraftEdu booth at a convention he attended. After speaking with the owners, Kerner learned that some teachers edited the Minecraft game to make it applicable for use in a classroom environment. He was intrigued that his favorite game was being used as an educational tool and knew he wanted to have this program implemented in his middle school.
Kerner proposed using the MinecraftEdu program in an after school club to his school’s principal and received approval. Kerner ran the club for three years, during which student interest quickly spread through word of mouth. With only 20 spots available in the program and a wait list of at least 130 students at any given time, it was time to expand.
In October 2015, the non-profit CraftingEducation Academy was formed and its doors officially opened in March 2016. The Academy currently runs programs at its main location in Melbourne, as well as after school programs at five public schools in Brevard County. It has enrolled 580 students so far this year.
The programs currently offered are MinecraftEdu, 3-D Printing, and 3-D Printing/MinecraftEdu Combo. The Academy has numerous additional programs that are currently in the process of being implemented, including Photoshop, Illustrator, Web Design, Virtual Reality Design, Robotics, and 3-D Jewelry Design.
CraftingEducation also has a fabulous Leadership Academy where select students, under adult supervision, develop the skills to become group leaders by assisting in instruction and designing programs. The Academy grants one partial scholarship each year to a student in the Leadership Program and is in the process of partnering with companies to sponsor students for college, as well as future employment opportunities.
As a charitable educational organization, the Academy also feels strongly about having their programs available to underprivileged children who cannot afford the programs. Since opening this past March, they have been able to sponsor 20 students on their own and are working to increase the number of students that can be sponsored by obtaining corporate sponsorships. Most recently, they have partnered with the Brevard County Police Athletic League to service disadvantaged children in various centers throughout the county.
Kerner has certainly fulfilled some big dreams already, but this ambitious sophomore has more impressive plans for the future. The Academy’s goal for next year is to have its program implemented in 12 schools. And in a few years? Kerner’s major goal is for CraftingEducation to be completely franchised by the time he graduates high school.
3270 Suntree Blvd., Suite 1130 B | Melbourne
(321) 926-4848 | firstname.lastname@example.org