In 2009, Amped for Education was born out of a conversation among educators about global travel and teaching opportunities.
Inspired by his colleagues’ ideas for foreign travel, Jeff Pluta found himself considering how he could leverage his training and experiences in the classroom to impact a developing country’s educational infrastructure. He wanted to put his skills to use where they were needed most. In his research of education abroad, Jeff discovered Nicaragua: a country with a rich history of revolution, a breathtaking landscape, warm, welcoming people, and an education system only mandated until sixth grade. With a passion for high school education, and the critical-thinking and problem-solving skills that secondary education cultivates, Jeff knew that this was where he could make a contribution.
In the summer of 2010, Jeff traveled for the first time to Nicaragua to survey a community with a thriving primary school to determine if students would commit to continue their education at the secondary level. After receiving overwhelming support from the community and local government, the Nicaraguan Ministry of Education endorsed the building and opening of a secondary school in a rural neighborhood called San Ignacio (now called Nueva Esperanza or “New Hope”).
Since then, the school has opened and hosts over 200 students every day. Amped for Education’s projects have expanded to include learning centers, where students can access academic support, homework help, and participate in project-based learning to supplement their public school education. The organization also offers service-learning experiences in Nicaragua to volunteers from the United States and abroad.
We create new educational opportunities for students in Nicaragua, while continuing to support the first school opened with the support of several partner organizations.