At Rather Prize, we want to improve Texas education and we want to hear your idea.

Introduce a new classroom teaching philosophy.
Talk about your experience with the testing system.
Tell us your love for your school, and how it can be even better.
We're listening.

We are the Rather Prize.

We care about education, and we care about Texas.

Together, we can drive big change in 3 small steps.

Truth: Texas needs you.

Texas is famous for a lot: our size, our pride, and our barbecue.
But Texas is also known for its long-standing struggle with education.

Our children and schools need a spark. To quote Dan Rather, "God did not create Texas to be 47th in anything."

Founded in August 2015, the Rather Prize is a small step in the larger American fight for education reform.

We put together a ten thousand dollar prize for the best idea to improve Texas education. Backed by lengendary journalist Dan Rather and his grandson Martin Rather, the prize identifies and implements courageous local-level ideas from educators and students.


Our Winner

Congratulations to Austin’s Eastside Memorial High School for winning the inaugural Rather Prize with their excellent proposal on a mentorship program, the STEP Up Challenge.

With the goal of strengthening matriculation strategies to colleges and universities for minority and underrepresented populations, Eastside Memorial’s Dr. Sanford Jeames’ program will form partnerships for high schools with universities and local businesses in order to provide guidance for high school students and professional development for teachers.

A New Beginning

Despite school efforts to prepare them for college and the outside world, many of Dr. Sanford Jeames’ students at Eastside Memorial High School have never seen people of color in high-paying, high-powered jobs.

(Read More)

We are the Rather Prize

Meet the Team

Martin Rather

Daisy Gray

Jaecey Parham

Gunny Liu

Priya Kane

Martin is a sophomore majoring in History, and the Founder and Operational Director of the Rather Prize. He thinks that Texas is a state with so many resources that its educational system can and must do better. He loves basketball and dreams of someday witnessing a New York Knicks-San Antonio Spurs NBA Finals series. Daisy is a sophomore from Cary, NC, majoring in Economics and Political Science. She loves education, and believes that we can all work together to improve the public education system-the backbone of our society. After Rice, she hopes to further her studies in law school, and own multiple golden retrievers. Jaecey is a junior from Lubbock, TX, majoring in English with a Business minor. She believes that teachers are the largest catalyst for progress in our education system, and is committed to being an advocate for them. She foresees her future self making a difference in the world of journalism, teaching, or business. Gunny is a sophomore from Singapore, Singapore, majoring in Computer Science and Applied Mathematics. He believes strongly that education is everybody’s business, and that any remote degree of change in the educational landscape world begins with the individual. He dreams uncontrollably of electric sheep, Haruki Murakami and bargain-buy H.E.B. New York Strips. Priya is a sophomore from Sugar Land, TX, majoring in Psychology with a Business minor. She believes in creating more opportunities for students of diverse backgrounds to reduce prevailing disparities in education. In the future, she is considering graduate school in law, business, or public health.

Dan Rather

Caroline Quenemoen

Purvez Captain

Dan Rather, host of AXS TV's Dan Rather Reports and The Big Interview. is a native of Wharton, Texas and the son of an oil pipeline worker, and Texas has always been his home. Before becoming one of television's most notable journalists, he received his entire education through Texas public schools. He is honored to have the opportunity to give back to his home state. Caroline Quenemoen is the Executive Director of the Center for Civic Leadership at Rice University. In this role she leads the development and implementation of programs, curriculum, and partnerships that foster civic leadership in Rice undergraduates and creates mutually beneficial university-community partnerships locally, nationally, and globally. She holds a Ph.D in Classical Archaeology from Yale University. Purvez Captain, of Houston, TX, is the Global Director of Ernst & Young LLP's Oil and Gas Transfer Pricing and Economics practice. He is the founder of Rice University's GradConnect, an initiative linking graduate alumni with current students for mentorships. He holds a doctorate in Economics from Rice University.

Improving Texas education

one idea at a time

Here at the Rather Prize, we believe that big, groundbreaking movements are a culmination of tiny baby steps.
No idea is too small. If it speaks to you, share it with us.

Rather Prize 2016 Application

"Never doubt that a small team of dedicated individuals can change the world.
In fact, it is the only thing that ever has."

Margaret Mead