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REACH Pathways Named a Tools Competition Winner 

Chicago – REACH Pathways was named today as one of 32 winners of the 2022-2023 Tools Competition. REACH Pathways joins teams from 12 countries being awarded more than $4 million to develop and expand tools that will impact 35 million learners by 2026.

REACH Pathways will receive $100,000 to develop The IRL Game of Life.


REACH is the college and career pathway that connects high-performing under-resourced students to companies and colleges. REACH connects top talent with top opportunities within a virtual world ecosystem. Less like homework and more like a video game, REACH rewards students for finding jobs and completing real-life and in-game tasks. Recruiters access prepared, top-performing, and diverse talent.

REACH is based on the research-based curriculum of Chicago Scholars, a nonprofit that has served nearly 6,000 students get to and through college and into career at 2-3X the national average.


“Chicago Scholars and REACH are founded on the belief that a student’s zip code should not determine their life outcomes. As the largest college access education in the city of Chicago, we still only serve 1 out of 8 eligible students. We’ve launched REACH to change that. Every student should have access to the college and career pathways to achieve their dreams. REACH is about connecting talent to opportunities,” said Jeffery Beckham, Jr., CEO of Chicago Scholars and Co-CEO of REACH Pathways.


Winning teams recognized and supported as part of the Tools Competition are tackling solutions to improve students’ K-12 math competency following the sharpest declines in decades, address equity in education, bolster students’ problem-solving and emotional skills, and unlock career training opportunities for adults via virtual reality. 


This year’s competition generated more than 1,000 proposals from 73 countries, with the 32 winners hailing from institutions and organizations across North America, Europe, Asia, South America, the Middle East, and Africa.


This is the third cycle of the Tools Competition, which has awarded nearly $10 million to 80 edtech innovators to date.


The next cycle of the Tools Competition will launch on September 21, 2023. To learn more, sign up to attend the virtual competition launch event here


For more details on our winning proposal please visit here and our website. A full list of winners and their projects can be found here.


Tools Competition Background

The Tools Competition is one of the largest edtech competitions in the world. It aims to grow the field of learning engineering by spurring ed tech innovations dedicated to leveraging big data to support learning science research and the needs of learners worldwide. 

The Tools Competition ran two funding opportunities this year: The Learning Engineering Tools Competition focused on Pre-K-12 learners and was supported by Schmidt Futures; Kenneth C. Griffin, Citadel, and Citadel Securities; the Walton Family Foundation; the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; and AlleyCorp. The DARPA AI Tools for Adult Learning opportunity is supported by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The competition is administered by Georgia State University and The Learning Agency.

The winning tools for the Learning Engineering Tools Competition fall under one of four tracks: 

  1. Accelerate learning for all 

  2. Transform assessments to collect new measures, drive quality and reduce cost 

  3. Facilitate faster, better, and cheaper learning science research 

Strengthen teacher development and support

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