Gulnaz Kordanova is pursuing her Master’s in Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She is a founder and the CEO of the NGO Connect-Ed.kz which works to bridge the digital divide through the collection and distribution of laptops and other equipment among schoolchildren in need. Connect-ed also offers schoolchildren, parents, and seniors digital literacy courses, so they can improve their digital literacy skills to receive a quality education, find jobs and increase the quality of their lives. With Connect-Ed.kz Gulnaz and her team, to date, helped more than 1000 children to receive access to equipment, distributed 230 devices, and more than 150 students and parents participated in digital literacy courses across Kazakhstan. As a Cheng Fellow, Gulnaz aims to build on this impact and scale the work of Connect-Ed.kz.
Gulnaz believes that education is a right, not a privilege, and is committed to solving the challenges of educational inequality. Prior to Harvard, Gulnaz has experience in teaching, conducting community-based participatory action research, and launching a number of social projects, including NGO Teach for Kazakhstan. Gulnaz is a laureate of 2022 Forbes 30 under 30 Kazakhstan, where she was recognized for her achievements in the field of education and social work. She is a passionate educator, community builder, and advocate for quality education for all.