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Building Tomorrow: The Story of Pi.Kademy

The seeds for Pi.Kademy were sown nearly 13 years ago, when founders Hamza Shaikh and Shaikh Iqra recognized the need for a nurturing environment that supported children's academic needs while fostering creativity. Starting as an after-school program, Pi.Kademy aimed to provide a safe haven for children from low-income communities in Vikhroli, Mumbai.

However, as they delved deeper into the education landscape, Hamza and Iqra realized that their approach, though well-intentioned, wasn't creating the desired impact. This realization prompted a fundamental shift in Pi.Kademy's vision. They transitioned from an after-school program to envisioning themselves as a full-fledged school rooted in project-based learning—a method aimed at empowering future leaders with not just knowledge, but also the skills and confidence to thrive in an ever-changing world.

Yet, the journey wasn't without its challenges. Pi.Kademy faced resistance to the project-based learning model, both from teachers accustomed to traditional methods and from skeptical parents. However, through open communication, personalized outreach, and structured guidance from programs like The Circle's RSSP, they navigated these hurdles with resilience and determination.

The transition from an after-school center to a more intimate learning environment allowed Pi.Kademy to redefine its approach to education. With a focus on project-based learning, student agency, and holistic development, they cultivated well-rounded individuals prepared to navigate the complexities of the modern world.

"Beyond academics we recognize that success in life requires well-rounded individuals equipped with essential life and soft skills. That's why we weave critical thinking, problem-solving, communication, collaboration, and creativity into the very fabric of our curriculum. We also believe in exposing students to diverse experiences that go beyond the classroom walls, from arts and culture to community service and real-world applications. This exposure sparks intellectual curiosity and lays the foundation for responsible global citizens."

At the heart of Pi.Kademy's success lies its curriculum—a curriculum designed not just to educate, but to empower. Emphasizing critical thinking, problem-solving, communication, and leadership skills, Pi.Kademy's curriculum goes beyond traditional academics. Through interdisciplinary projects, social entrepreneurship initiatives, and exposure to diverse experiences, they empower students to become agents of change in their communities. They've also shifted from the traditional teacher-centric model to a facilitator role. Teachers now guide and support students as they delve into projects, fostering curiosity, collaboration, and independent learning.

"Our curriculum is a living, breathing entity, constantly evolving to adapt to individual needs and learning styles. We value continuous improvement, regularly gathering feedback from students and teachers to ensure our approach remains relevant, engaging, and effective in achieving our mission: to empower future leaders who are not just knowledgeable, but kind, adaptable, and ready to make a positive difference in the world."

Throughout their journey, Pi.Kademy found a steadfast ally in The Circle. The partnership provided guidance, resources, and access to a supportive network, enabling Pi.Kademy to innovate and inspire despite financial constraints. Together, they embody a shared commitment to education and social impact—a commitment that transcends borders and empowers young minds worldwide.

Looking to the future, Pi.Kademy envisions a self-sustaining village school nestled in nature—a sanctuary for learning and growth. With a focus on entrepreneurship and community engagement, they strive to create a movement that empowers young minds and transforms communities.

Iqra, is an engineer by profession and formerly a research engineer at IIT Bombay. Driven by a desire to create a tangible social impact, she, along with some friends, initiated the inception of Pi.Kademy. At the heart of Iqra's mission lies her hypothesis that granting students the agency to navigate their own learning experiences can yield remarkable results in their educational outcomes.

Humza, an entrepreneur, began his first venture during his third year of engineering college, receiving support from IIM Bangalore and the Department of Science & Technology. With the onset of Covid, he transitioned to the non-profit sector, collaborating with NGOs and pursuing a fellowship. Recognizing a lack of top talent since his time working on his startups, Humza advocated for educational reform. After exploring various schooling models, he co-founded Pi.kademy, an innovative institution aimed at cultivating tomorrow's leaders and visionaries.

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