Social entrepreneur named to another “30 under 30” list

Karlos L. Marshall, cofounder of The Conscious Connect, Inc. has been named to the International Literacy Association’s 2019 30 under 30 list for his work to end book deserts and improve early childhood literacy.

Karlos and his cofounder, Moses Mbeseha, were both recently named to Forbes’ 2019 30 Under 30 list in the education category for this same work.

The International Literacy Association’s list celebrates “rising leaders in the literacy field — a cohort of emerging innovators, disruptors and visionaries creating positive change in the global literacy landscape,” states the press release.

“When we started this organization three years ago, my only hope was to make a difference in my own community and to make my family proud. So to be recognized amongst world leaders is humbling to say the least,” Karlos said.

The ILA list recognizes educators, school administrators, nonprofit leaders, authors, volunteers, researchers and social entrepreneurs from 13 countries.

“The individuals on this list are solving critical issues—issues many of them have faced on their own paths to success,” ILA Executive Director Marcie Craig Post said in the release. “Their contributions are paving the way to more accessible and equitable literacy learning in their schools, communities and beyond. It’s an honor to recognize these young leaders whose vision and tenacity are transforming our world.”

Past honorees include Shiza Shahid, cofounder of the Malala Fund; Andrew Sutherland, founder and chief technology officer of Quizlet; and Kathryn Lett, EL teacher at Kentwood Public Schools in Michigan.

Karlos and Moses founded The Conscious Connect three years ago with the goal of ending book deserts — areas without access to high-quality and affordable books — in Ohio by 2020.

They have distributed 30,000 books throughout the Miami Valley so far. The organization currently boasts more than 100 community partners including barbershops, beauty salons, libraries, community centers, daycare centers, churches and schools that serve as book distribution points throughout the Miami Valley. Recently, it also launched a partnership with Cincinnati Public Schools.

Read our earlier interview with Karlos & Moses here.

View the Literacy Today feature and read more about the honorees’ accomplishments here.

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