Who we are and why we exist
Founded in 2013, Internationally Smart Is Cool, Inc. (ISIC) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit operating in Wilkinsburg and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. ISIC was founded by Jamillia Kamara, a Philadelphia native and former teacher.
We exist to challenge the traditional definition of intelligence. ISIC defines a Smart as a skill, interest or hobby used to build communities. That is not the message sent to 95% of students today. Think about it. Who are the first smart kids that come to mind? They are probably honor roll students who do their homework each night. They sit perfectly in chairs (with their hands folded) and follow every single direction, all of the time. Now think about the kids who you do not consider as bright. How long do they sit in their seats before wanting to stand? How often do they ask questions? What grades do they earn?
What we do
ISIC connects middle school students with opportunities to develop and practice activities they are interested in. Our vision is for an entire generation of youth to grow up embracing their assets and cultivating them into proactive, purpose driven lives. Hence, our slogan: Smart Is Cool. Embrace It. Cultivate It. We are currently partnered with the Sister Thea Bowman Catholic Academy in Wilkinsburg, where we run a 6-month service learning program, Smart Impact. We also host an Annual Summit, spearhead the #2MillPencils Drive, and provide consultation services to educational institutions, community organizations, and corporate entities. In each facet of our work, we spread this message: While educational excellence and ambition should be celebrated, there is one way to be smart: your way.
Who we serve
While our on-the-ground efforts are currently focused in the Wilkinsburg and Philadelphia communities, our target audience is comprised of the parents, teachers, school staff, community organizations and corporate entities who serve middle school students of color across the country and around the world. We would love the opportunity to collaborate with your organization, design strategies for your students, or keynote your next event. Reach out!
5 ways you can help, right now:
- Volunteer your programming & technical skills
- Connect us to people who can invest in our capacity
- Donate pencils
- Sponsor our programming
- Tell a friend about our work!