Our Mission: To unleash every child’s superpowers

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WeGrow is committed to supporting growth in children’s minds, bodies, and souls through an integrated, individualized curriculum that challenges and elevates all aspects of the child. Our learning originates from each child’s passions and is hands-on and project-based, drawing from progressive educational pedagogies, such as Montessori, Bank Street, and Reggio Emilia. Our goal is to create conscious global citizens, who know who they are, understand their gifts, and approach life with wonder, joy, humility, and a profound desire to share. With a focus on studying life through spirituality, farming as a way to respect and understand the planet, and yoga, meditation, and conscious eating as tools to center our bodies, we delve deeply into cultivating the whole child. Language and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) are taught and emphasized as ways to further connect with the world. WeGrow supports the growth of our children’s entrepreneurial spirits through initiatives such as a school-run farmer’s market as well as a collaboration with WeWork. As we begin to identify our students’ passions, they will be paired with employees and members under whom they can apprentice.

How we do it

It is with profound respect that we approach education, understanding that we have as much to learn from children as they have to learn from us. We respect the magic, sense of wonder, and curiosity that is innate in all children. We believe that an educational community that values kindness, global citizenship, collaboration, and creativity will unleash the gifts and superpowers of each child. WeGrow educators personalize curriculum for each child based on their needs, interests, and aptitudes. We work with the most skilled teachers in each subject area, always looking for educators and professionals who not only excel in teaching, but also in their humanity. With success defined as happiness and the ability to share in meaningful ways, we support each child as they create their own roadmap towards a profound and love-filled life.

WEGROW WITH WEWORK

WeGrow is uniquely positioned within the WeWork community, giving our students access to an amazing network of mentors who will encourage our children to pursue their passions creatively through mentorships catering to their interests and superpowers. The connection with WeWork will also allow employees and members to engage with their children on a regular basis, enforcing our belief that we all learn better together. This is a family affair!

How we do it

It is with profound respect that we approach education, understanding that we have as much to learn from children as they have to learn from us. We respect the magic, sense of wonder, and curiosity that is innate in all children. We believe that an educational community that values kindness, global citizenship, collaboration, and creativity will unleash the gifts and superpowers of each child. WeGrow educators personalize curriculum for each child based on their needs, interests, and aptitudes. We work with the most skilled teachers in each subject area, always looking for educators and professionals who not only excel in teaching, but also in their humanity. With success defined as happiness and the ability to share in meaningful ways, we support each child as they create their own roadmap towards a profound and love-filled life.

WEGROW WITH WEWORK

WeGrow is uniquely positioned within the WeWork community, giving our students access to an amazing network of mentors who will encourage our children to pursue their passions creatively through mentorships catering to their unique interests and superpowers. The connection with WeWork will also allow employees and members to engage with their children on a regular basis, enforcing our belief that we all learn better together. This is a family affair!

Programs & Curriculum

Mind

  • Literacy
  • STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, And Mathematics)
  • Social Studies
  • World Languages

Spirit

  • Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Spiritual Studies
  • Global Citizenship & Philanthropy

Body

  • Conscious Eating
  • Dance
  • Martial Arts
  • Sports

Arts

  • Visual Arts
  • Drama
  • Music
  • Farm-to-Table Cooking

Conscious Entrepreneurship

  • Hands-On Farming
  • Student-Run Farmer’s Market
  • WeWork Apprenticeship Program
  • Healthy Earth, Healthy People
plants

Programs & Curriculum

Mind

  • Literacy
  • STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, And Mathematics)
  • Social Studies
  • Foreign Language

Spirit

  • Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Spiritual Studies
  • Global Citizenship & Philanthropy

Body

  • Conscious Eating
  • Dance
  • Martial Arts
  • Sports

Arts

  • Visual Arts
  • Drama
  • Music
  • Farm to Table Cooking

Conscious Entrepreneurship

  • Hands-on Farming
  • Student-Run Farmer’s Market
  • WeWork Apprenticeship Program
  • Healthy Earth, Healthy People
plants

Our Team

Rebekah Neumann

FOUNDER, CEO & Mom

Superpower: Intuition

Adam Braun

COO

Superpower: Optimism

Adam Amar

Head of Engagement

Superpower: Connection

Gina Lofquist

Montessori Education Advisor

Superpower: Inspiration

Josh Shanklin

Lead Mentor & Co-Lead Teacher

Superpower: Peacemaker

Bonnie Levine

Lead Mentor & Co-Lead Teacher

Superpower: Mindfulness

Michele Vespi

Head of People

Superpower: Relationships

Adam Broza

DIRECTOR OF STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT

Superpower: Imagination

Nicole Sizemore

Head of Communications

Superpower: Curiosity

Hannah Flood

Agricultural Educator

Superpower: Growth

Hunter Cressman

Director of Wellness

Superpower: Wisdom

Katherine McGrath

Education Counsel

Superpower: Composure

Credit: The Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG)

Our Inaugural Home

WeGrow’s spaces will be designed by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG). The WeGrow school embeds the values of a new conscious approach to education. The space of the school aspires to support the growth of the mind, body and soul of the 21st century child. The design starts from the premise of a school universe at the level of the child. A field of super-elliptic objects forms a learning landscape that’s dense and rational – yet free and fluid. Modular classrooms, tree houses, digital portals and a vertical farm promote an inclusive and collaborative learning environment. Acoustic clouds, natural materials and neutral colors create a calm setting for the child’s focused study. Playful and transparent, yet homelike and structured, WeGrow nurtures the child’s education through introspection, exploration and discovery.

WEGROW AT WEWORK HQ — 115 W 18th St.

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REBEKAH NEUMANN

FOUNDER, CEO & MOM

Superpower: INTUITION

Rebekah Neumann is a founding partner of WeWork. As Chief Brand Officer, she directed the company’s mission, values, and culture from inception. As an artist, entrepreneur, and yogi, Neumann has also gained certification as a Jivamukti yoga teacher and acted in and produced a number of film projects. Neumann majored in Business and studied Buddhism at Cornell University. An avid student of life, Rebekah has traveled the world apprenticing and studying under many of the greats such as His Holiness the Dalai Lama and mother nature herself. Mother to five young children, Rebekah is committed to creating a conscious, educational community that fosters growth in children’s minds, bodies, and souls, unleashing endless happiness, global citizenship, and every child’s superpowers.

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ADAM BRAUN

COO

Superpower: OPTIMISM

Adam Braun has been an education entrepreneur for more than a decade serving students around the world. He was previously Co-Founder & CEO of MissionU, a college alternative built for the 21st century, as well as Founder & CEO of Pencils of Promise, the award-winning organization that has built nearly 500 schools around the world. His book, “The Promise of a Pencil: How an Ordinary Person Can Create Extraordinary Change” was a New York Times bestseller and in 2015 he received the nation’s oldest and most prestigious award for public service, the Jefferson Award. He is the proud father of two adorable twins, Bayla and Dylan, and is deeply passionate about helping every person achieve their greatest potential.

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ADAM AMAR

Head of Engagement

Superpower: CONNECTION

As an early employee of WeWork, Adam has spent the last 6 years working on and building different areas of the company such as Community Development, Building Management, Sales, and Employee Engagement. After deciding not to pursue clinical psychology as a career choice, Adam spent his time founding a startup which eventually brought him to WeWork.

Adam received his B.A. in Psychology and Business at Queens College and his M.A. at Teachers College, Columbia University in Social-Organizational Psychology with a focus on executive coaching.

Having a passion for early childhood development, entrepreneurship and always having a strong interest in education reform for our future, WeGrow was the perfect next step for Adam to take on Engagement and help to bring conscious entrepreneurship, through reimagined mentorship, to the world.

P.S. If you start a conversation about anything that has to do with psychology, sports, music or entrepreneurship please be prepared to spend a minimum of 23 minutes (30 minutes if it’s about kids) in engaged conversation.

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GINA LOFQUIST

MONTESSORI EDUCATION ADVISOR

Superpower: INSPIRATION

Through the vision of Dr. Maria Montessori, Gina has been an advocate for children and their families for more than 25 years. She has dedicated her professional life to the education of children as they construct themselves into the adults they will later be, and to help adults recognize children as the possibility of our future. Presently, Gina is the Senior Director of Teacher Education at the American Montessori Society, the leading member advocacy organization, research forum, and resource collaborative for the global community of Montessori educators. In 2015, she was honored with the Dennis Schapiro Award for Innovation in Montessori Teacher Education. She was the Assistant Dean and Program Director for the Xavier University Montessori Institute and Lab School in Cincinnati, Ohio. Gina holds a master’s degree in Education with a concentration in Montessori, and an Ohio teacher’s license. She has been a Montessori teacher, head of a school, teach educator and a consultant to public and private Montessori schools in the U.S. and abroad. Gina is highly sought after to lecture nationally and internationally on topics such as Montessori philosophy, child development, teacher transformation, and parent education. She began her career in advertising and public relations before responding to her true passion: making education better for children.

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JOSH SHANKLIN

LEAD MENTOR & CO-LEAD TEACHER

Superpower: PEACEMAKER

For twelve years, Josh has been preparing a learning environment for children to realize their possibility. As a Montessori educator, Josh has worked in public and private schools. Most recently he was a lead teacher and clinical faculty at Xavier University with their Montessori Laboratory school and teacher education program where he taught upper elementary (9-12 year olds), Montessori Philosophy for Montessori education majors, as well as math and geometry for Montessori education majors.

Josh earned his bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Indiana University and his master’s in education with a Montessori emphasis from Xavier University. He has an American Montessori Society teaching certification and spent two summers participating in Association Montessori Internationale training. He has led workshops at national Montessori conferences as well as assisted in writing and publishing a reflective tool for Montessori teachers.

In spite of all of his Montessori training, Josh’s greatest lessons have been learned in his time in the learning studio with the children. “Observing who children are in order to understand them before we act” is one of the Montessori pedagogy’s greatest gifts to education.

Josh is currently engaged in connecting the stages of the design thinking cycle to children’s natural thought and exploration processes as a foundation for learning in a Montessori environment.

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HANNAH FLOOD

AGRICULTURAL EDUCATOR

Superpower: GROWTH

Hannah is an organic vegetable, herb, and flower farmer and educator at the Linden Farm. She is a lover of all living things and believes in the incredible healing power of good food grown responsibly. A graduate of Michigan State University with a degree in Sustainable Agriculture, she has worked at a variety of different production and educational farms throughout the Midwest, and most recently worked as a flower and medicinal herb farmer at Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture located right outside New York City in the beautiful Hudson Valley. Hannah joins our environmental educational program with enthusiasm and excitement, and cannot wait to share the magic of nature, science, and a rooted connection to the earth with our students. Her hope is to continue to learn from nature every day in new ways through her job as a farmer and steward of the earth.

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BONNIE LEVINE

LEAD MENTOR & CO-LEAD TEACHER

Superpower: MINDFULNESS

Bonnie Levine has dedicated more than 20 years to three great passions: teaching, mindfulness and ceramics. They’ve developed simultaneously all fueling each other. She earned her M.S.Ed in Early Childhood and Childhood General Education from Bank Street College of Education. Bonnie loves teaching and spending her days with children in the classroom. She enjoys creating a curriculum that is meaningful and transformative. As a dedicated student of mindfulness, Bonnie teaches from the “inside out.” She is inspired by the increased focus, awareness and kindness she observes in children who learn to use mindfulness techniques in their daily lives. Bonnie’s ceramic work is influenced by her love of the natural world, which began early in her life. Walking in the woods, splashing through streams, building sand castles by the lake, and floating in the ocean continue to be integral parts of her experience.

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MICHELE VESPI

HEAD OF PEOPLE

Superpower: RELATIONSHIPS

Michele has devoted over 18 years of her professional career creating and leading innovative approaches to people and organizational culture with an unwavering commitment to keeping the human element not just present, but at the forefront of every effort. Michele has worked both in corporate and non-profit settings, driving investment in people that embodies teamwork, a spirit of generosity, and a dedication to personal and professional growth. Prior to coming to WeGrow, Michele served as a Chief People Officer and spent 6 years in the world of education reform helping to build schools across New York City, serving thousands of children and mentoring hundreds of faculty and employees. As a highly collaborative and creative advisor, Michele is forever grateful for the many connections she has cultivated through the years, the lessons learned, and the personal development she’s made through her partnerships with others. While Michele has worked incredibly hard to achieve all that she has in her career, the title that Michele is most proud of in her life is that of “Mom”. Michele was born and raised in Queens, New York and now resides in Long Island with her husband and their two young children who bring continuous joy and a perspective to each day.

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ADAM BROZA

DIRECTOR OF STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT

Superpower: IMAGINATION

Adam studied law at the University of Cambridge, completing the traditional three-year degree in two years and receiving a First Class distinction for his dissertation on legal responsibility for autonomous military systems. He is from Tel-Aviv, Israel but has lived in Spain, the US, and the UK. Adam holds two previous degrees from Israel (a BA in Government, Diplomacy & Strategy and a BA in Jazz & Contemporary Music). Between 2011-2017, Adam conducted research on various issues in public international law (specializing in international humanitarian law) at a number of think tanks, including at Oxford on a joint project with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), Harvard Law School, Brookings, and the Israeli Institute for National Security Studies. Adam was also Director of Research for Academy Award-nominated documentary filmmaker Dror Moreh’s next film, and provided assistance to Legal Counsel for Mr. David Haigh and Mr. Julian Assange. He really likes dogs.

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NICOLE SIZEMORE

HEAD OF COMMUNICATIONS

Superpower: CURIOSITY

Nicole serves as Head of Communications for WeGrow, overseeing press, internal communication, partnerships, and events. Nicole began her career in politics, serving as a national press secretary and spokesperson on U.S. Senate and presidential campaigns, before shifting her focus wholly to education. Having previously worked at a New York City public charter school network, Nicole joins WeGrow excited to champion an approach to education that focuses on the whole child. A true student of life, Nicole is passionate about an approach that encourages children to explore the world beyond the confines of a traditional classroom and embrace their individuality with love and excitement. Nicole is a die-hard Rangers fan, subscriber to Popular Science magazine, and is always acquiring new skills – most recently, she built a bench out of reclaimed barn wood.

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KATHERINE MCGRATH

EDUCATION COUNSEL

Superpower: COMPOSURE

Kate serves as Education Counsel for WeGrow, overseeing legal and compliance. She has built her career supporting schools by crafting legal strategies that allow educators the freedom to remain focused on schooling. She previously served as Head of School Advisory at a network of public charter schools, leading a team that advised on school-level legal questions, developed and delivered a number of trainings, and worked closely with colleagues across the organization to quickly scale the network. Kate is passionate about education, and prides herself on working with administrators, educators, and families to find innovative solutions that prioritize the educational experience of all students. Kate grew up in New York and spent her childhood summers on a farm in the west of Ireland. She is constantly trying to bring the natural world to her little corner of Queens, cultivating an ever-growing urban garden.

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HUNTER CRESSMAN

DIRECTOR OF WELLNESS

Superpower: WISDOM

Hunter Cressman is a master-trained teacher of Vedic Meditation, and Founder of The Modern Mind meditation school, The Spring Meditation studio in SoHo, NYC, and Vedic Meditation Retreats. Hunter’s personal and integrative approach to teaching has helped hundreds of people develop a stronger sense of self, nurturing success and balance in all areas of their lives. He is passionate about education that empowers students to skillfully create a fulfilling life from the inside out. Hunter believes we can develop our conscious leadership capabilities through wellness education allowing us to be more effective problem solvers, innovate for the need of the time, and create sustainable change in our homes, at work, in our communities and throughout the world.

Prior to teaching, Hunter was a mechanical engineer for the jewelry enterprise David Yurman, where he developed new business processes to improve workflow and communication between business divisions. Hunter grew up in Marin County, California, lived in London, the Himalayas of India, and has called New York City home since 2009. He graduated from Loyola Marymount University with a B.S.E. in Mechanical Engineering and studied Eastern Philosophy and Ecology.