About

Our Mission

To build muscle and capacity as innovators, blur the line between “school” and the “real world,” and leave the world better than we found it through the creation of a platform for young learners around the world to share their voices.

Our Story

Education is rapidly being transformed and like any good design challenge, it is important to hear from the users. In the case of school, the primary users are the students and thus the idea for this magazine was born- a magazine driven and written by students about the Education Transformation Movement.

Trailblazers will be published once each school semester, at least while we’re still starting out. Each edition will contain articles written by young learners from around the world as well as additional resources chosen by the curators including other blogs and books that might not be created by students but are chosen by them.

The purpose of Trailblazers is to create a platform for young learners around the world to be able to share their stories and opinions on transformative education in a collective format. We hope that this gets read by learners of all ages interested in making all education learner-centred.

We are young learners, with big voices, paving new paths; these are our stories.

Our Team

Anya Smith-Roman Co-Founder/Editor-in-Chief

Anya graduated as an inaugural Innovation Diploma member in 2017 and is now a Business major at Georgia Tech studying to become a social entrepreneur in education. Since high school, Anya has been striving to forward the Education Transformation Movement by networking with thought leaders around the world, speaking and coaching at education conferences, and being a pioneer of innovative learner-centered education practices.

Abigail Emerson Co-Founder/Publisher

Abigail graduated as an inaugural member of Innovation Diploma and now attends NC State studying industrial design. Her favorite pastimes are giving out high-fives and telling puns. Abigail strives to inspire and empower other students to believe that they can make a change now and don’t have to wait until they’re “older” and “wiser” to start.

Kylie Smith-Wolfe Lead Graphic Designer

Kylie Smith-Wolfe is currently a student at Mount Vernon Presbyterian School. As a member of the Innovation Diploma, she is passionate about student-driven learning experiences and is determined to make sure that students’ voices are heard throughout the educational world. Set to graduate in 2020, Kylie hopes to go into medical school and pursue her dreams of becoming a pediatric nurse in order to continue to help children.


Anna Kate Pickering Managing Editor

Anna Kate loves learning, happiest when discovering more about Psychology or reading the latest game-changing novel. She is currently the Managing Editor of Trailblazers, which allows her to utilize her love of words. A member of Innovation Diploma, she loves the challenge to her intellect and to her creativity it presents to her. In her free time, Anna Kate enjoys reading, writing, and psychology. Set to graduate in 2019, she plans to become a lawyer and speak up for those in need of defense.


Anna Weber Communications and Outreach Associate

Anna is an 11th-grade student at Mount Vernon Presbyterian School. As a member of the Innovation Diploma, she enjoys working with other students on projects and trying new things. She currently is the Communications Associate for Trailblazers and is excited to help reach out to students and give them a chance to share their voices. Anna is an artist and enjoys doing school theater and drawing in her free time.


Jack Riekena Director of Media

Jack is currently a senior at Mount Vernon Presbyterian School. Jack has always had an interest in how social media can influence the world of business and be used as a marketing tool. He hopes to pursue this interest in college by going into a business or communications program. In his free time, Jack enjoys being active in sports and spending time with his friends and family.

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