In the late 1990s, Andrea Samadi, then a teacher, created a curriculum to inspire students. The success of that program led her to quit her job to work with a well-known motivational speaker who was focusing on teenagers. After extensive research, Samadi and her team created online character education, leadership, and social-emotional learning programs for the classroom. The programs, which track student growth, have been found to impact college and career preparation, relationship skills, and academic performance, among a host of others benefits.
AchieveIT360 programs have become a staple in Arizona schools. But securing and maintaining that relationship hasn’t always been easy.
In 2014, Samadi’s company received a three-year grant to run her programs in five sites; but funding was denied for 2015 and 2016. Samadi used the setback as an opportunity to create a Professional Development Program for teachers.
Samadi worked with mentor John Pietro by phone regarding marketing topics, and in person with mentor Douglas Whitney. “John helped me with my marketing message and Doug helped me to increase my proposal pricing,” Samadi says.
In April 2017, after a rigorous application process, AchieveIT360 was awarded a contract as one of four preferred providers for Arizona schools. “The lesson that we teach our students with our Level Up program is that you must persist,” Samadi says. “Our success story is truly about persistence, perseverance, overcoming obstacles and never giving up.”
AchieveIT360 was selected as one of 102 state winners in the 2017 American Small Business Championship.