Alec Urbach

16-year-old filmmaker and education activist

Alec Urbac is from New York and is 16 years old.

After meeting Ghanaian clergy and learning about their illiteracy crisis, Alec decided to use filmmaking to revolutionize elementary education in developing nations. He developed a cartoon-animated curriculum that wasn’t language-dependent. Alec received Government approval for his first Science Elementary School in Ghana, and inspiring letters from children who were being taught through his film curriculum. One read: “Dear Alec, I like science now with your fun videos. Maybe I will grow up to be a nurse and help my village… Thank you so much, my friend (Angela, Akim New Tafo).”

Alec devised a three-pronged approach to teaching illiterate children by providing the fundamental needs of a learning-friendly environment: clean water, hygiene supplies and FILM as the groundbreaking teaching vehicle. As a trained and award-winning young filmmaker, Alec believed that a cartoon-animated educational curriculum would work for our world’s most vulnerable children. Through his animated FILM curricula, children learn the investigative process and scientific method. Giving from the Ground Up (GFGU) successfully rolled out this program in Ghana to 120,000, an expandable/replicable model built to serve the 120 million illiterate children worldwide. He opened the first Science Elementary Schools in Africa with this three-pronged approach. He also built wells, and with GFGU’s team of national volunteers, he shipped 240,000 medical, hygiene and school supplies.

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