Antonio Buehler founded Abrome to fundamentally change the way the world views education. He wants society to reject the notion that education should be a standardized product in which children are expected to be passive recipients of instruction that is chosen and delivered by adults. Antonio wants learners to be able to direct their own education so they can live rich, fulfilling lives. He believes that by providing learners with the opportunity to take full ownership of their education, Abrome will help save millions of lives, and in the process change the world.
Prior to founding Abrome, Antonio worked as an admissions consultant to individuals applying to top colleges and MBA programs. He also worked as a middle school and high school teacher at an alternative school in Austin, TX. Before he dedicated his career to education, Antonio spent time in private equity, investment banking, and the military. Outside of work, Antonio founded the Peaceful Streets Project, served on the board of a child bereavement non-profit, volunteered at an orphanage in Bulgaria, volunteered for the West Point and Stanford admissions offices, coached high school football, and has personally mentored and tutored dozens of children. In his free time, Antonio likes to read, travel (37 countries and counting), ski, and volunteer for his favorite causes.
Antonio earned a B.S. in Systems Engineering from the United States Military Academy, an M.B.A. from Stanford University, and an Ed.M. from Harvard University.
Some of Antonio's favorite things include:
Food: Indian; Thai; Italian; Medjool dates
Music: Prince; Michael Jackson; Kylie Minogue
Books: The Alchemist; Drive; Slaughterhouse-Five; Weapons of Mass Instruction
Movies: Midnight in Paris; Moulin Rouge; The Sound of Music; Black (Hindi)
Places to visit: India; Italy; Spain; Morocco; Hawaii; California
Social causes: Emancipated Learning (obviously); criminal justice reform; anti-racism
Quote: "To know what is right and not do it is the worst cowardice." ~ Confucius
Kelly Spencer is a Learning Coach at Abrome and is dedicated to encouraging and supporting children so they can lead remarkable lives. Prior to joining Abrome, Kelly worked as a behavioral assistant for children on the autism spectrum. She provided support and training for the children and their caregivers in a variety of settings to include the home, the school, and within the community. In addition to working with more common cases of ADHD and social anxiety, Kelly has experience working with children with a variety of more complicated needs such as those who are non-verbal, and those who engaged in self-harming behavior.
Kelly previously worked at Bain & Company as a Coordinator for Human Capital Systems. Prior to Bain, Kelly was the head coach for Phillips Exeter Academy's JV boys soccer team. Throughout college, Kelly also taught summer camps for children aged 3-18 for Seacoast United Soccer Club. Kelly played Division I soccer in college, and played in the Women's Professional Soccer League post-college. She has written and published George and His Rumbly Tummy, her first children's book. In her free time, Kelly likes to read, hike, take care of her 4 rescue dogs, and ride horses.
Kelly earned a B.S. in Economics with a minor in Communication from the University of New Hampshire.
Some of Kelly's favorite things include:
Food: Anything with peanut sauce!
Music: Bill Withers; David Bowie; Clair de Lune; Menahan Street Band; Sam and Dave
Books: The Name of the Wind; Lord of the Rings
Movies: Moulin Rouge; The Hunt for the Wilderpeople; Hero; Pride & Prejudice; House of the Flying Daggers
Places to visit: South America; New Zealand; any state park
Social causes: Literacy; animal rescue; child liberation, empowerment, and emancipation!
Quote: "We wait, starving for moments of high magic to inspire us, but life is full of common enchantment waiting for our alchemists eyes to notice." ~ Jacob Nordby
Mridul Batra co-founded Abrome with the belief that children are natural learners, and that learning will happen if children are allowed to experience and explore their world. He believes that every learner should be given the opportunity to construct his or her own educational experience. He also believes that learning should be relevant to the needs of the immediate environment, context and culture, rather than directed by someone from the outside imposing a canon of knowledge. Mridul is driven to transform education globally, and create access for everyone, especially those in resource constrained and rural environments.
Prior to founding Abrome, Mridul worked as a high school economics teacher. Concurrently, he founded a photographers collective where he also served as a teaching artist, and also founded an alternative elementary school in New Delhi. Before becoming an education entrepreneur, Mridul spent time in economics research and banking. While working as a banker, Mridul voluntarily spent his weekends counseling and tutoring children for a local non-profit.
Mridul earned a B.A. in Economics from the University of Delhi, an M.S. in Economics from the National University of Singapore, a Photography Design Certificate from National Institute of Design, and an Ed.M. from Harvard University.
Marie Carlson is a doctoral candidate in the clinical psychology program at The University of Texas at Austin. After completing five years of training under the clinical science model she is spending her final year on internship at The University of California San Diego Consortium / VA. Marie completed her clinical practica at the University of Texas Clinical Psychology Training Clinic, The Center for Survivors of Torture, and the Austin, TX Veteran’s Affairs Outpatient Mental Health Clinic.
Marie’s research examines gene-environment interplay in adolescent health and risk behavior. Her specific focus is on the contextual roles of chronic stress and trauma in the expression of adolescent sexual health and externalizing spectrum behaviors. Marie has extensive experience applying an array of multivariate structural equation modeling techniques for the analysis of large, epidemiological longitudinal data sets including behavioral genetic and molecular genetic data. Prior to graduate school, Marie worked fulltime at a non-profit community mental health and supported employment agency for persons with severe mental illness where she gained experience in a range of case management, supervisory, and assessment activities.
Marie earned her B.A. degree at the University of Minnesota. She graduated summa cum laude with a double major in psychology and sociology and a minor in Spanish.
Ariel Dochstader Miller is the founder and director of Skybridge Academy, a private middle school and high school in Dripping Springs, TX. Before Ariel launched Skybridge, she spent three years homeschooling her children so that she could care for her terminally ill mother. When they were ready for a new beginning, Ariel and her children imagined the most vital learning environment they could dream of, and Skybridge was born.
Prior to Skybridge, Ariel was on the board of an innovative private school her son was attending. As the Communications and Development Director, she increased admissions by 69%, and created a mission based fundraising program that increased fundraising from $2,000 per year to over $125,000 per year. She also started Biorhythms Publishing with her husband Lucas Miller, developing education programs and several award winning products. Before she founded Biorhythms Publishing, Ariel worked for the Walt Disney Company.
Ariel is a lifelong learner who took herself out of high school so that she could homeschool herself in order to make her education meaningful. Ariel then attended Hampshire College, where she focused her studies on creating nurturing learning environments for children and adults. She earned her master’s degree at the Seminary of Spiritual Peacemaking.
Peter Gray is a research professor of psychology at Boston College. His research and publications span a wide range of fields, including neuroendocrinology, animal behavior, developmental psychology, anthropology, and education. Most of his recent work has to do with the value of free, unsupervised play for children’s social, emotional, and intellectual development.
Peter has expanded on these ideas extensively, for the general public, in in his book, Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life (Basic Books, 2013). His research includes follow-up studies of young people who did not attend conventional school, but directed their own education either at home (unschooling) or at a democratic school. He is also author of a highly regarded college textbook, Psychology (Worth Publishers), now in its 7th edition, and he writes a regular blog for Psychology Today magazine.
Peter graduated magna cum laude from Columbia University with a degree in psychology. He received his Ph.D. in biological sciences from Rockefeller University.
Ben Munoz is an e-commerce entrepreneur, social entrepreneur, and patient advocate. In 2013, Ben cofounded Nadine West with friend Sidney Williams. Nadine West is a fast-growing e-commerce startup based in Austin, TX. Despite no background in retail or e-commerce, Sidney and Ben have grown Nadine West into one of the largest fashion subscription companies on the internet.
In 2008, Ben cofounded Ben's Friends, a nonprofit that runs online patient communities for people with rare diseases. Ben started Ben's Friends after suffering a brain hemorrhage caused by a rare disease. After searching for support online, Ben started his own support community, which later became Ben's Friends. Ben's Friends helps 100k+ patients a month and has been featured in Harvard Business Review, Forbes, and TechCrunch. Before Ben's Friends, Ben was a software engineer and then a medical student at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX.
Ben earned a B.A. from Stanford University and an M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
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