Rainesford Stauffer is a writer, student, and education advocate from Owensboro, Kentucky. After graduating high school from Memoria Press Online Academy, Rainesford spent her freshman year studying Literature before opting to take a gap year. After spending two years building her own education through internships, volunteering, and work, Rainesford enrolled at The New School, where she majors in Liberal Arts and received academic credit for work done outside the classroom. A lover of storytelling and learning in all its forms, Rainesford has been published by Forbes, The Huffington Post, The Hill, Voices of Youth by UNICEF, and had a letter on academic perfectionism published by The New York Times. Currently, Rainesford serves on the editorial board of the Student Voice Forum, moderated by the students of the Prichard Committee Student Voice Team. In 2014, Rainesford spoke at one of the largest TEDx Youth events in the country, TEDxYouthKansasCity, on rethinking what it means to learn beyond great grades and ACT scores, and in 2015, spoke at TEDxEastsidePrep on gap years and alternative paths to higher education. She has been interviewed on the popular learning podcast, DIY Learning, and Hashtag VOA, part of Voices of the America, the official broadcast institution of the United States, as well as being named a 2015 Quiet Revolutionary by Susan Cain’s Quiet Revolution. Rainesford is a member of the 2016 and 2017 Advisory Board of SXSWedu, and is committed to making education more personalized, creative, and inclusive. She hopes to leave the world—and education—a little better than she found it.