Even if your target market is very clear, if you don’t develop a level of appreciation for different types of people on a human level, you’re never going to truly solve real problems.

EARLIEST ENTREPRENEURIAL MEMORY: Selling paper poppers and gourmet lollipops in elementary school and getting in trouble for it. FAVORITE AUTHOR OR BOOK: The Stranger by Albert Camus.

Reva McPollom

Changing the world through health education

CREATING INTERSECTIONS OF INSPIRATION. At the end of the day, Reva McPollom founded her company Lessonbee, an online adaptive learning platform for kids in grades K-12 to develop the knowledge, skills, and values for managing and nurturing healthy living and the advocacy for healthy living, to stop the end of the world. No, really.

“I created Lessonbee because we have a generation of adults who have all kinds of unhealthy habits and anxieties that are destroying the world. And I believe educating youth about owning their own health insights can save the world. I assure you, that’s not even hyperbole.”

“I wanted to figure out a way to bring together my intersections in content design and technology and education for something that mattered, so I went back to school and got a degree in instructional technology and media.” Which then led her to high-ranking professional spaces and experiences in Learning and Development, building digital marketing and educational platforms for several global agencies and humanitarian organizations before realizing she still wasn’t scratching the itch she had to do something bigger.

TRULY BUILDING PLATFORMS FOR EVERYONE. “As soon as you look at health education in this country you realize it’s terrible and that kids don’t get the quality of education that they need. Some of them are told lies and misinformation. Often teachers avoid topics or are uncomfortable with the science or policies. It’s never seen as a core academic subject. And this has led to several generations of adults, who are unhealthy, live anxious lives, and have wildly chaotic sexual and mental health illiteracies that cause a ton of the world’s problems.”

“I think that my experience is growing up and feeling like I didn’t have examples of people that were like me in a number of different dimensions, because I’m queer or I’m black could be pointed at as the catalyst for me to create Lessonbe, but the truth is that we all feel different and alienated from time to time. And truthfully, that universality was the real catalyst for this platform.” Reva explains.

Yet at the same time, being queer and being black and being a woman isn’t something she wants anyone to overlook when it comes to her successes. “I think it is important for me to acknowledge the ways in which I have been successful because it’s hard for people like me to be successful and to attract capital. I mean, that’s just data right?”

Which Reva admits can be exhausting but enlightening too. “As a Black CEO and Founder, there is often an unspoken challenge in white dominant cultural practices. One that makes me self-reflective. It informs me to think and operate differently. To not just challenge the norms of capitalism and business design, but literally redesign it as inclusive and new.

And sometimes that means it’s a bit harder to get the funding she needs for Lessonbee, but then again, worth every penny too. “I know how to be amazing and successful and build synergy into the idea of multi-representation and identity. Lessonbee does this well, both leveling the landscape of health while lifting people up.”

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Presented with Pride Here is the first collection of one hundred incredible and inspiring LGBTQIA+ venture-backed entrepreneurs featured in this year's Gaingels 100.