Young Innovator’s mission is to instill an appreciation for art and STEM disciplines in children from ages zero to five. Drawing on children’s natural curiosity, our company enables its learners to become autonomous and critical thinkers, preparing them for the careers of the future. And as the company grows, so does its impact on the early-education industry.
In realizing her dream of improving children’s interest and future in STEM fields, Marnie Forestieri modeled the process she and her team would later teach their students: be hands-on in your research and ask a lot of questions.
Marnie’s first question was “How can we make young children excited about STEM concepts and careers?” Ten years of owning a child-care franchise, several certifications in early-childhood development, and innumerable diapers later, Marnie had created the answer.
Thanks to like-minded supporters—from local university professors to community leaders to technology experts—Marnie was able to purchase a struggling Oviedo school in 2015. With a curriculum designed for 21st Century Learners—Young Innovators boasts an inquiry-based learning approach that fosters self-identity, relationships, intellectual collaboration, social learning, and creativity among its learners.
Today, Young Innovators plans to expand throughout Florida and further afield into Texas, but it’s not just the company’s educational philosophy that makes it unique. From its flagship campus in Oviedo, the Academy trains its educators in its curriculum and methodology, ensuring a consistent, high-quality education among all of its centers. In doing so, the company creates a higher ceiling on both salaries and career advancement for its teachers. In turn, parents and their children benefit from the centers’ solid standards and committed educators.
Marnie Forestieri and her education team are making an impact beyond their centers as well, in the form of collaborating on STEM toys for Kaplan Early Learning and writing books for Gryphon House. This year will also see a variety of new initiatives, including launching a technology platform.
Young Innovators Academy was born of a question, a theory, research, and hard work—
exactly the process it seeks to teach young learners. If the company’s success is any indication of the kind of minds it is creating, then Florida’s future is very bright indeed.