Empathy Machines

With Diverse New Partnerships

Stories can be larger than life, or at least as large!  In April, we took our mission of breaking down barriers and shattering stereotypes to another level by launching partnerships with Shared_Studios and now with the Charles Koch Foundation.

Together, we’re piloting a new initiative based on immigration and identity that allows us to foster empathy between students who live thousands of miles apart, but feel as though they are in the same room. It’s the ultimate in armchair travel!


N4 student ambassadors from the American School of Tampico in Mexico connect with elementary students in Floyd County, Kentucky while wearing their N4 “Share Today/Change Tomorrow” t-shirts! Photo: Maru Castaneda


This academic year, we have placed Portal_Inflatables in three of our key partner schools: University Heights High School in the Bronx, New York; Floyd Central High School in Eastern, Kentucky; and the American School of Tampico in Tampico, Mexico. The Portals allow students to connect more deeply than if they were using common video conferencing technology. We feel this is key to helping us achieve one of our key and crucial objectives: revolutionizing education. No small task but with your help it’s entirely doable!


The Portal_Inflatable shines bright at University Heights High School in the Bronx, New York. Photo: Lisa Greenbaum


University Heights and Floyd Central are also taking part in the second iteration of our pilot field exchange program, an immersion project that is designed to complement the Portal connections. Ten students from University Heights will travel to Floyd County, Kentucky to join their ten southern partners and friends in just two weeks. Floyd Central teacher and N4 Master Practitioner nominee, Mary Slone, said, “I still cannot wrap my head around how unbelievably amazing this portal has been and will be.”


Field exchange participants from University Heights High School and Floyd Central High School meet through the Portal for the first time. Photo: Mary Slone