Mendell Grinter, who leads a Memphis-based group advocating for education equity and school choice, is a finalist in a $1 million Forbes competition open to social entrepreneurs under the age of 30.
Grinter, 25, will travel to Boston next week to compete on stage with three other finalists during the Forbes Under 30 Summit, billed as a gathering of young entrepreneurs and game changers from across the globe. The competition began with 1,000 young leaders.
The winner in the nonprofit category will receive $500,000 in cash, along with media grants from Forbes and the Schusterman Family Foundation, which seeks to develop young people as leaders. As a finalist, Grinter also will receive a $25,000 grant.
Grinter came to Memphis in 2015 to head the Tennessee chapter of the Black Alliance for Educational Options, or BAEO, after leading the organization in Kentucky. In June, the Tennessee group broke off from its national organization and reorganized as the Campaign for School Equity. The rebranded group seeks to ensure that all students, especially students of color, have access to a high-quality education and to collaborate with clergy and parents to expand school options.
“We know that our work to address the inequities that exist in Memphis schools is essential, and the Forbes announcement is further motivation and validation,” Grinter said in a statement. “We look forward to elevating our efforts to be a voice for students in the months and years to come.”