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Photo courtesy of treehugger.com

It’s a Monday morning at Wpromote, and it’s unbelievably hot outside. I’m grateful to be sitting in an air-conditioned office, and I empathize with anyone stuck outside, seriously.

Summer temperatures in LA have hit record-breaking highs in recent years, and despite our capacity to create technological wonders like the giant telescope, and the considerable wealth held by LA county residents, we still haven’t figured out how to keep people in the Valley cool in the summer.

Maybe we could do a food drive but instead of food people donate air conditioners, you know, ancient ones that need to be installed in a window? Just a thought.

Luckily, there are people out there using their powers (and bank accounts) for good, in LA and beyond.

Photo courtesy of alefalletti.wordpress.com

Photo courtesy of alefalletti.wordpress.com

One such fellow is named Shai Reshef, an entrepreneur and self-made millionaire who recently launched University of the People (UoP), an online university open to students who cannot afford the expense of a college education.

Headquartered in Pasadena, CA, Reshef’s brainchild is actively seeking enrollment for its first year,  scheduled to begin in September. While students will pay a minor fee to enroll, take classes, and participate in exams, the first 300 will be attending at no cost because, as Reshef explained in an interview with Nicole Marie Richardson of Inc.com, “We appreciate them taking a chance on this experimental education model.”

Regarding operations, UoP plans to operate with a mixture of paid staff and volunteer professors and IT professionals donating as little as one or two hours per week to help the cause. With start-up costs totalling around 5 million, UoP is seeking help.

Reshef has funded the 1st million himself. The other 4 million he intends to fund via online donations from concerned citizens, wealthy philanthropists, and companies looking to lend a hand.

For more information, or to make a donation, please visit UofPeople.org.

Do you think the Internet has changed philanthropy? To what cause would you donate 1 million dollars? Post your replies below.


2 thoughts on “Introducing University of the People
  1. ade says:

    Thanks for the post.

    Interesting information. I think the internet has given an opportunity to all those who have the means to give their ‘widow’s might’ directly to causes they support.

    If I had one million dollars, hmmm…

  2. derwin dorset says:

    I think this is a fantastic idea. There are plenty of great tools and resources to really tackle the problem of undereducated youth… we need more people behind such forward thinking initiatives.

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