SINCE 2017

27,618

STUDENTS REACHED

1,529

INSTRUCTORS TRAINED

SINCE 2017

17,000

STUDENTS REACHED

700

INSTRUCTORS TRAINED

OUR WORK

Choose Creativity, powered by the Lulu and Leo Fund, empowers children to build resilience, creative confidence, and social-emotional skills through our Learn with Creative Confidence programs. We provide training, curricula and on-going support for educators and other professionals based on the 10 Principles of Creativity.

Three young female students stand with their arms around each other's shoulders, smiling.

THE ORIGIN OF OUR PROGRAM

When faced with the tragic loss of two of their children, Marina Krim, a former educator, and her husband Kevin chose to rebuild their lives in a way that felt authentic to them – by tapping into their creative confidence. By formalizing and scaling the invaluable teachings Marina germinated in their home with the children, they came up with Choose Creativity and the 10 Principles of Creativity.

Marina and Kevin recognize that creativity is an essential life-skill for children to possess and therefore must be nurtured and cultivated as part of their educational experience. They collaborated with psychologists, school administrators and education experts like Dr. Stephanie Jones of the Harvard Graduate School of Education to build Learn with Creative Confidence, a SEL curriculum that empowers elementary-aged children to build self-efficacy skills.

CREATIVITY IS A MINDSET

Research has shown that, as children, we all start with creativity and then it’s educated out of us. Young people and adults must be engaged in activities where creativity and the creative process is modeled, taught, named, noticed, and embedded across learning processes and environments with conscious effort, forethought, and consistency. Being creative is not about being artistic – it is a mindset that we can practice and support. Choosing creativity helps us in school, at work, and in our homes – across all parts of our lives.
A male creative coach talks to a small child in school uniform.
Six small children sit in a circle with their Creative coach. Some of the students have their hands in the air with excitement.

WHY LEARN WITH CREATIVE CONFIDENCE

The events of the past several years have challenged our educators and students in extraordinary ways. We are working with school communities such as ones within NYC’s DOE District 4 in East Harlem to provide high quality, bilingual programming to combat a multitude of challenges including chronic absenteeism. Creating a safe and positive school environment where students and their families feel respected and part of a community is critical for social, emotional and academic success. Our program Learn with Creative Confidence folds the language of confident learning into the school day and beyond, creating a culture of self-efficacy, resilience and empathy.

MEET THE TEAM

Yeimmy Torrez

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Terese Boegly

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Stephanie Krieger

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Marina Krim

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Meredith McNerney

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Nancy Quach

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BOARD OF DIRECTORS

MARINA KRIM

Co-founder & Creative Director,
Lulu & Leo Fund

KEVIN KRIM

Co-founder & Chair, Lulu & Leo Fund
CEO, EDO Inc.

BRIAN C. FOX

Treasurer, Lulu & Leo Fund
President, Commercial Solutions, Klick

MAURA MILLER

Managing Director – Equities
Compliance, Credit Suisse

CHAD HARBACH

Author, The Art of Fielding
Senior Editor, n+1

SONALI THEISEN

Managing Director – ‎Head of FICC E-Trading & Market Structure, BoA Merrill Lynch

LINDSAY TOMENSON

Director, Alumni and Career Services,
Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP

RICHARD WOLFFE

Columnist, The Guardian
Book author

SEE THE POSSIBILITY IN EVERY MOMENT

Yeimmy Torrez

Professional Development Facilitator

Yeimmy’s field of expertise includes education, implementation strategy, and diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. With 10 years of experience in classroom teaching, training educators, and implementing various organizing campaigns within NYC, Yeimmy continues to pursue her passion for educational equity and aspires to be a leader who champions social, economic, and racial justice. Prior to joining Choose Creativity, Yeimmy managed different aspects of teacher training, including building their social-emotional development competencies and leadership skills, as well as strengthening community partnerships. Yeimmy has a natural ability to facilitate meaningful discussions and create inclusive environments. Yeimmy earned her B.S. in Communication & Design from Ithaca College. She holds an MA in Education. She is a fluent Spanish speaker.

Terese Boegly

Educational Design Consultant
Terese has worked as a teacher, principal, and professor for 30 years. She completed her doctoral work at Arcadia University, Glenside PA. Her work as a principal was highlighted in Bena Kallick’s Using Curriculum Mapping and Data Analysis to Improve Instruction (2008). She has presented at national conferences on topics including Creating a Culture of Mathematical Empowerment, Professional Learning Communities, and Successful Strategies for Closing the Achievement GAP. Terese has extensive knowledge and experience creating positive and supportive learning environments and helping schools address the social and emotional needs of children. She used Choose Creativity in her school and they continue using it following Terese’s departure.
Headshot of Stephanie Krieger

Stephanie Krieger

Executive Director
Stephanie has a combination of programming and fundraising experience and a lifelong passion for making creativity accessible to everyone. Prior to joining the Lulu & Leo Fund, Stephanie served as Manager of the Lincoln Center Corporate Fund, raising millions in corporate revenue. Her previous experience includes working in Development at MoMA and planning volunteer events for the corporate sponsors of New York Cares. Stephanie earned a BA in Art History and Business from Muhlenberg College and holds a MA in Arts Administration from Columbia University.
Headshot of Marina Krim

Marina Krim

Creative Director

Marina is a mother, teacher, artist, entrepreneur, and co-founder and board member of the Lulu & Leo Fund and ChooseCreativity.org. Marina turned the tragic loss of two of her children into an inspirational movement and creative curricula that empower children, families, and communities to survive and thrive in the face of adversity. Marina earned her MA and BA degrees in Education from the University of Southern California, and has been a teacher in California and New York, as well as founder of several creative businesses. Marina resides in New York with her family.

Meredith McNerney

PD Facilitator

Former principal from West Maryland, Meredith’s passion is strengthening strategic partnerships with community agencies and nonprofits. She believes that an integrated model between community and school increases access to services for students by providing culturally sensitive prevention and early intervention-oriented services. She advocates for programs to support social-emotional learning, behavior, and academic motivation for students through a safe, accessible environment. Meredith was recently awarded The Superintendent’s Administrative Award for Excellence and Equity based on academic growth and achievement among English Learners (ELs) at Gaithersburg Elementary. Meredith believes in the Choose Creativity Curriculum. Based on her experience, she knows staff and students will benefit deeply from the mantras, lessons, and activities to empower all learners to see the possibility in every moment!

Headshot of Nancy Quach

Nancy Quach

Program/Administrative Assistant
Nancy holds an MS degree in Education with a concentration in Mental Health Counseling and a BA in Psychology from St. John’s University. When not working at the Fund, she is a professional skating coach at Chelsea Piers. For the past 15 years, Nancy has taught a creative skill-based curriculum to various age groups. Nancy worked as a preschool director prior to joining the Lulu & Leo Fund, where she developed an on-ice and off-ice curriculum that has made the program so successful today.