This spotlight on AnnMaria was recently included in the April 2020 AARP Purpose Prize Alumni Newsletter.
Alumni Spotlight: Meet AnnMaria De Mars
President/Co-founder, 7 Generation Games
Education’s the door to a better future, but it’s one closed to most low-income children. Without crucial math and literacy skills such as computing percentages or understanding a contract, students are barred access to college and better-paying jobs. Today my company, 7 Generation Games, has over 15,000 children using our technology, predominantly in low-income schools throughout the United States and Latin America.
7 Generation Games brings educational technology to all these forgotten students. Our games are fun, teach math, give feedback and provide teachers with data. They’re designed to be accessible to everyone.
Why my approach is unique
Unlike other companies that march in and tell educators about solutions, we start by listening to the school’s problems. We then develop the software in stages, all the while consulting with them. This allows us to answer questions most companies never think to ask. Our goal is to create games that students want to play on whatever devices the school can afford. It’s not easy, which is why so few people even try.
While other nonprofit programs share our desire to better educate students in the lowest-resource areas, they don’t have the knowledge, staff or funds to develop software like us. We save money by writing most of the original code ourselves. We hire developers, artists and animators in the communities we serve, and make use of volunteer game testers and content creators to make educational software at a fraction of the price of a large company.