My name is Amara Humphry.
I'm currently the Product Lead at Abl Schools.
Previously, I was the Chief Product Officer and co-founder of Gooru.
Today, I'll share a story about building technology products for impact,
focusing on how Gooru went from a beta product to reaching its millionth user.
When I was 12, I visited a school, now a museum,
near my mom's childhood house in Phnom Penh,
the capital of Cambodia.
During the war, the school had been converted into a prison,
classroom are turn into cells where prisoners waited to be executed.
It was a terrifying sight.
The Khmer Rouge denied their own people a basic human rights,
including one that some will never recover, education.
I flew home to Hawaii and realized that this experience was in
stark contrast to my own school experience just an ocean away.
My parents prioritized education above all else.
I had the opportunity to attend great schools,
access to an amazing education,
and now, I live in the technology capital of the world.
After graduating from Stanford with a degree in Product Design,
I found myself conflicted.
I worked on a startup aimed at helping 20-to-30-year-olds transition
to life in a new city by leveraging social networks and friends of friends.
Essentially, I was building a tool for a problem that I experienced myself firsthand.
While I suffered the temporary inconvenience of acclimating to life in a new place,
it was a superficial challenge compared to
the true suffering that I have been a passive observer to at various points in my life.
I grew personally frustrated as I used my newly acquired product design skills
to build tools that solved problems that
improve the lives and productivity of the privileged.
Upon much reflection, I recognized that
that same cutting edge Silicon Valley technology
could be redesigned to serve students who needed it most.
In 2011, I joined Gooru,
an education technology non-profit with a mission to honor the human right to education.