Everyday Visionary :: Karim Abouelnaga

The Collaborative No. 3

Today we are featuring Everyday Visionary Karim Abouelnaga, CEO of Practice Makes Perfect.

In 2010, while a student at Cornell University, Karim set out to solve a problem plaguing low-income communities: the academic achievement gap.

During his research, he found that two-thirds of this achievement gap was attributed to unequal summer learning opportunities. To address this problem, he founded Practice Makes Perfect as a way to redefine the summer learning experience for all children, regardless of their socioeconomic status.

Today, they have served scholars all across New York City and continue to grow, embracing the #SummerForward mentality!

You can follow Practice Makes Perfect on social media by clicking these links:

Instagram :: Twitter :: Facebook :: LinkedIn

The Questionnaire

  1. What’s your name?

Karim  Abouelnaga

  1. Where do you currently work?

Practice Makes Perfect

  1. What is your current role?


  1. How would you describe to a child what you do for a living?

I make summer school cool.

  1. What do you hope you have a reputation for as a professional?

Servant Leadership

  1. What is an accomplishment from your career that meant the world to you?

Giving a TED talk that raised awareness about the importance of summer learning that has reached over 1M people.

  1. What is one of the biggest lessons you’ve had to learn the hard way in your career?

Moving forward isn't always straight forward. Sometimes, you have to go back or do things that may feel like side steps to make forward progress.

  1. What are some of your go-to sources of inspiration and staying on top of emerging trends that impact your field or industry?

Twitter and the lists I've curated. Applenews, chalkbeat, NY times. 

  1. What is something you need in your work environment in order to thrive in your role?

Pen and a pad 

  1. What do you envision for your customers/clients/stakeholders/ patients/citizens/students, etc.?

A better world than the one that we all came into. 

  1. What is one of the biggest challenges you are facing or trying to solve right now?

Creating urgency among schools for summer in the winter and the fall.

  1. What are three of your favorite books?
  • Shoedog by Phil Knight
  • One Day All Children by Wendy Kopp
  • The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz  
  1. What’s one of your favorite non-profits?

America Needs You

  1. If you could collaborate with any group or individual in the world, who would be your top three picks?
  • Bill Gates
  • Sir Richard Branson
  • Oprah
  1. What would you want to collaborate on with the people/groups you just mentioned?

Furthering different educational initiatives.

  1. If you were invited to give a TED Talk (or have given one), what would you speak about?

Given one: A summer school kids want to attend

  1. How do you unwind at the end of a stressful day?

Listen to music, take a long hot shower, and do some deep breathing.

  1. What do you think your 80-year-old self would tell you right now?

Continue to live in the moment and enjoy every second of life.

  1. What do you think your 10-year-old self would be most impressed with about your life right now?

The fact that I'm running my own company and have been since I was 18.

  1. What are your ideal retirement plans?

To read, write, travel, and teach what I've learned during my career. 

  1. Is there anything particularly compelling that you want us to know that we didn’t ask?

Not that I can think of off the top of my head.

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