Karim Abouelnaga is a vanguard and catalyst for change in urban education. He was raised by a single mother on government aid and went through some of NYC’s most struggling public schools, however, he was fortunate to have a series of nonprofits and mentors who changed his life trajectory. Karim founded PRACTICE in his Cornell dorm room at 18 and has dedicated his career to equitably leveling the playing field for low-income children and closing the opportunity gap.
He is an author, a TED Fellow and Echoing Green Fellow. At 23, he was named to Forbes’ 30 under 30 list in Education, and at 24 was named to Magic Johnson’s 32 under 32 list. Karim earned a Bachelor’s in Hotel Administration from Cornell University and a Master’s in Education Policy from Columbia University.
A summer school kids actually want to attend - TED
Equal Is Inherently Unequal - B Lab
Passion vs. Purpose - Cornell @ New York Times Center
The Small Business Hustle | TED & The Hartford
I Wake Up Every Day At 4:30 - Relentless | Forbes
Select Speaking Engagements
Melinda Mack - Executive Director, NYATEP
"Karim was an engaging and thoughtful speaker. He used his personal experience as a young adult, problem-solver, and entrepreneur to provide real-world examples to move the needle on youth engagement."
Rev. Brock Leach - retired CEO of frito-Lay North America and Tropicana
"Thanks for the superb job you did helping our Entrepreneurial Ministry students learn about purpose, fundraising, impact, and so much more. We just compiled the course evaluations from our Babson intensive and your session was a huge hit with the whole group. You did just a terrific job connecting and engaging with fellow innovators who are hungry to hear from somebody who has trod the same path — I believe “Rock Star” is the operative term. What you had to say was very powerful on a personal level and included exactly the kind of practical advice they needed. And even though we religious folk had talked repeatedly about listening carefully to your call to do this work, your six question exercise brought it home for many in a new way. On behalf of our whole planning team, thanks for making this final intensive a great culmination to our program!"
Gamal Willis - Cases.org
"Thank you for the insight and motivation yesterday. What you have accomplished so far is quite inspiring even for an old head like myself and your vision is one that I appreciate. Keep striving. Thank you!"
Passant Elkhatib - Head of hospitality & Real Estate, MO4 Network
"Your talk was inspiring and it has irreversibly changed my perspective on things. Thank You!"
Dutton Matt - Teacher, PS 186
"I had a fourth grader in my class that I brought down to hear you speak. This is a student that is constantly walking out of her specialty classes continuously. She was so mesmerized by your speech this morning and was able to complete her college access for all passport with her counselor and caseworker. I hope to see you in the future so you can inspire more students. Great Job Today!!!"