The founders

Dida was designed to be the learning environment William and Danielle wished for in their youth. William, a school-teacher veteran of 7 years, hatched the idea based on interactions with Brooklyn community members. Danielle cultivated Dida to strength and sustainability with her legal know-how and organizational skills.

 

William C. Schmidt

William is Dida’s Founder and Learning Director. His ultimate life goal is to inspire learners of all ages through play-based exploration and improvisational games. As a former school teacher, William believes in the capabilities of young people to effect societal change.

Contact: william@didaacademy.org

Danielle A. Levine

Danielle is Dida's Co-Founder and Executive Director. She believes that coercive instruction (i.e. compulsory schooling) is a violation of human rights. As an attorney, Danielle seeks to empower young people and challenge age discrimination. 

Contact: danielle@didaacademy.org


 

Our past fellows

During Summer 2016 we launched our first fellowship program. We worked with six brilliant and passionate fellows who created thought-provoking projects on a range of topics including:

  • Social Media’s Effect on Human Interactions
  • Exploring Identity, Self-Esteem and the Experience of Black Women with Natural Hair
  • The Rise and Social Implications of “Black Lives Matter”