Andre Agassi Sits Down With 10 Year Old Edtech Reporter Tatum F To Talk About New Partnership With Square Panda
Andre Agassi needs no introduction. He is the former number one tennis player in the world, 8 time Grand Slam champion, 1996 Olympic gold medalist and arguably the best American tennis player in the history of professional tennis.
It’s not uncommon to see professional athletes at South By Southwest in Austin Texas. Most of the major sports networks either had a presence at this year’s festival or have had a presence in the past. Both Fox Sports and ESPN had “houses” or full venue installations at this years event. Years past have included TNT/TBS, NBC, CBS and ABC sports. Typically these venues will have a flow of professional athletes for paid appearances, panel discussions or endorsing some kind of product.
That’s not why the tennis legend was in Austin for SXSW this year.
Agassi knows that he’ll always be remembered for his tennis career, but at an event for early elementary edtech firm Square Panda, Agassi said that he has no problem with being remembered for his second career, in education. In fact he attributed his second stint in professional tennis directly to his passion for education, specifically to make even more money for his education foundation.
In 2001, after seeing a documentary about charter schools Agassi knew that it was his calling to create such a school. During the same Square Panda event he told the audience in a Q&A that he had taken out a $40 million dollar mortgage to help open the Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy in Las Vegas, a tuition free charter school for at-risk children. By 2009 his charter school had a 100 percent graduation rate and 100 percent college acceptance rate. His experience with education began a few years earlier when he donated the money for Child Haven, a residential facility for abused and neglected children, to have a six room classroom building on-site.
Fast forward 17 years and Agassi has helped build 70 charter schools serving over 33,000 students. Education has become his true calling and something he is truly passionate about.
Agassi entered into a partnership with Square Panda, an early elementary edtech company that has created a reading learning system for younger children that’s both fun and interactive. In this partnership though, they are working to make testing for learning disabilities like dyslexia accessible to the masses. When asked at the event if he was dyslexic, Agassi said he wasn’t sure but thought that could have been part of the problems he had in school as a kid. There wasn’t testing available at that time.
Agassi actually spends a lot of time on the road speaking at education events.
Our 10 year old edtech reporter Tatum F, had the chance to speak with Agassi 1:1. Check out the video below, and for more information visit squarepanda.com you can find out more about the Andre Agassi Foundation For Education, here.