Earl Martin Phalen

CEO and Founder, Phalen Leadership Academies and Summer Advantage USA

CEO and Founder, Phalen Leadership Academies and Summer Advantage USA.

In 1967, Earl Martin Phalen was born into the foster care system. 70% of his African-American male peers in foster care would end up in jail, but, as a result of his adoption by George and Veronica Phalen and their passion for education, he graduated from Yale University and Harvard Law School.

Having witnessed the transformative power of education, Phalen has dedicated the past 20 years of his life to expanding the life opportunities of children through learning and academic engagement.

As a Harvard Law School student Phalen co-founded BELL, which grew from a community service project educating 20 children to a national non-profit annually educating 15,000 scholars with a budget of $27.5M.

In 2009, he founded Summer Advantage USA. Recognized by the White House initiative, United We Serve, TIME Magazine and MSNBC, Summer Advantage’s research-based summer programs impact the performance of school districts across the nation.

Based on the high achievement of Summer Advantage scholars, in 2012 the Indiana Charter School Board granted approval to the George and Veronica Phalen Leadership Academies to open 10 Academies. Named after Earl’s parents, the Academies will provide a high quality, academic and enriching blended learning curriculum to over 10,000 children.

Phalen’s work has been noted by the New York Times, Parents Magazine, Education Week, ABC World News, and recognized by the entertainment industry at the BET Awards.

In August of 2010, David Von Drehle wrote in TIME Magazine, “Phalen has become one of the country’s leading education reformers…”.