What does it mean to be a maker?
Today, I am funneling my relentless approach and passion for innovation into a new technology venture, GenTree Solutions. Utilizing skills honed over nearly 20 years in the telecommunications industry, I am leading the charge to revolutionize the approach of––and access to––online learning assessment tools. With a total of four U.S. provisional patents, soon to be in 145 countries, in my name, my goal is helping children and young adults achieve their academic potential through more efficient learning, regardless of their ability, diversity, or socio-economic status. Each software sale will contribute to the TR Gentry Foundation 501c3 to ensure all students have an opportunity.
What are you doing in the Maker community?
This new venture has deep personal significance. Despite various school interventions and home teaching strategies, my youngest son struggled to read. Years into our nightmare, a clinical assessment let us know that he was dyslexic. Armed with this knowledge, we were able to address his unique learning requirements and he now reads at his grade level. Knowing that other parents face similar challenges every day, I set out to use my technical experience to design a software solution that could determine the best and quickest way a child could learn. The end result is GenTree Solution’s suite of multi-sensory learning assessment tools, which have been specifically designed to determine the standard and unique learning paths of individual kids from Pre-K to 12th grade.
Every individual has a unique learning path, like their finger print. A common learning style in students is Kinesthetic or Physical Learning. This learning style is the most challenging for Teachers as they require an optimal instructional setting to keep these students motivated and interested.
My commitment is to partner with the Maker space expansion team to enable all children to take the assessment. This will ensure the right schools with the highest Physical Learning population receive top priority to foster this natural learning style so they have the best opportunity to achieve their academic potential.
Who are some other Makers you admire and why?
I admire my father, Jim Gentry. He spent over 30 years working with the youth population in Fort Smith, AR. My Dad started the first Babe Ruth baseball league for 7 year old boys at the Fort Smith Boys Club. He knew that physical learning and movement was a way to keep the students engaged and motivated while in school or in his after school baseball program. He never allowed the boys to play if they were not working toward achieving their academic potential.