Charles stands at the intersection of education, philanthropy and technology. His personal story demonstrates that one person can launch a movement, and his insights inspire businesspeople and students alike.
In 2000, while teaching history at a Bronx public high school, Charles launched DonorsChoose.org, a nonprofit organization that provides a simple way to address educational inequity. Today, more than 60% of U.S. public schools have at least one teacher who has created a project request on DonorsChoose.org, and more than 1.5 million people have donated $275 million to classroom projects by providing books, art supplies, technology and other resources to 13 million students, overwhelmingly in low-income communities.
DonorsChoose.org is one of Oprah Winfrey's "Ultimate Favorite Things" and was named by Fast Company as one of the "50 Most Innovative Companies in the World," the first time a charity has received this recognition. For three years, FORTUNE magazine has named Charles to its "40 under 40 hottest rising stars in business." He's received the John F. Kennedy “New Frontier Award”, which honors young Americans who are changing their communities through public service, and the Jefferson Awards’ “S. Roger Horchow Award for Greatest Public Service by a Private Citizen”.
Best graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Yale College in 1998.