“There is a growing awareness in the country of the vital part community educators play in the development of our young people. As this trend gains velocity, I know Fab will play a crucial role in the development of a strong ecosystem of learning here in Rhode Island.” – Alin Bennett
FabNewport is very excited to welcome Alin Bennett to our Board of Directors.
Alin is Vice-President of Practice and Field Advancement at Education Reimagined; a national organization committed to ensuring learner-centered education is available to each and every child in the country, inclusive of race, background, and circumstance. Over the past twenty years he has served as an educator, school leader, and learner who is a staunch advocate for national school transformation and creating an equitable education system.
Alin began his journey in education by supporting the curriculum work at the Skerton Community School in Lancaster, United Kingdom. It was during this time that Alin was first exposed to an open-walled, socially embedded learning environment. After returning home to Rhode Island, Alin began his work with The Met School and Big Picture Learning. Through his work with these two organizations, along with his current work, Alin continues to grow systems, structures, and practices that reflect an equitable, learner-centered world-view.
It is imperative for us to learn from each one of our members. How would you describe your journey?
I would describe my professional journey as one of self discovery. Enjoying my job is something that has always been important to me, but I spent much of my time as a young adult searching for a profession that would provide both joy AND purpose; something where I could find “being” and action in something greater than myself.
This journey had me try on many different hats; from a Chef de Partie, to a Graphic Designer, to an Autobody Tech Assistant, to Sales. While I enjoyed everyone of those jobs and the people I worked with, it still left something missing for me. Eventually, I decided to pursue two of my lifelong passions, history and working with young people. This naturally led me to education, where I have been, in some capacity, for almost twenty years.
What’s your connection with FabNewport? Based on our hands-on learning. How do you see yourself as a maker?
Steve and I have been colleagues for over ten years now. I first met him when we were both educators at The Met School. I remember clearly when Steve first started FabLab as a makerspace. It has been great working alongside FabX and watching it become what it has; an amazing organization helping kids find what they need to thrive.
How do you see yourself as a “maker?”
I think we are all “makers.” We all bring things into the world in a way that impacts ourselves and others. For me, I consider myself a “maker” of space. Whenever I am with other people, I do my best to contribute to a space that is welcoming, inclusive, and allows people to be their full authentic selves.
What are you bringing to FabNewport?
I bring a unique perspective to FabX. Because of my work with Education Reimagined, I naturally see the work of education and youth development through a national lens. There are so many organizations around the country doing parallel work to Fab and bringing some of those insights to the organization as it grows is important. With that being noted, I have also lived in Rhode Island my whole life, essentially, and can also relate to the experience of all our stakeholders. I was a student in RI, an educator in RI, a school leader in Rhode Island, and a father in Rhode Island. I try to channel all those experiences in my work.
What are you looking forward to and hope to see as the future of FabNewport?
There is a growing awareness in the country of the vital part community educators play in the development of our young people. As this trend gains velocity, I know Fab will play a crucial role in the development of a strong ecosystem of learning here in Rhode Island.