“Education reform is the greatest challenge of our generation – we will be remembered by what we do now to shape the world our children inherit. Work doesn’t get more meaningful than that.”

Although he didn’t always know that he wanted to pursue it as a career, Jonathan Hanover always had a deep connection to education.

As a baby, Jon lost most of his hearing and developed a speech impediment as a result. He was initially labeled with a disability, until one of his teachers saw his speech impediment as a learning gap and not a disability. It was a transformative experience for Jon and his firsthand exposure to how life-changing education can be.

Jon’s "lightbulb" moment came when he was doing work on a pro-bono partnership at Bain & Company with a community organization that was launching a charter school. He realized that the education sector was something that he was interested in exploring further. The Fellowship provided him with the opportunity to work with the Charter School Growth Fund as a Fellow.

“The Fellowship was a great way to dip my toe into education while getting a sense of the sector and where I could fit in,” he says. “It was a ‘safe’ way to try it out and get a good perspective on what a career in education could be like."


  • Academics
  • Data & Analysis
  • Strategy & Planning
The work Jon did during his Fellowship was more complex than any of the business problems he encountered at Bain. In education, the essential questions of how to measure outputs and outcomes were much more difficult and intriguing to answer.
“The larger goal of increasing outcomes for all children is packed with so many different problems to solve,” he says, “from psychological, to foundational, to political, to strategic, to logistical. It’s my belief that education has the greatest number of challenges and unanswered questions of any sector.”
The Fellowship played a key role in Jon’s career trajectory. After serving at the Charter School Growth Fund, Jon set a goal to start his own charter school.
He went on to become a Teach For America corps member as a founding teacher at Rocky Mountain Prep Charter, while he worked nights and weekends to realize his dream for his own school. Jon’s school, Roots Elementary, was approved in June 2014, and opened its doors in fall 2015.