The Alumni Spotlight highlights Georgetown Prep alumni making impacts all over the globe. Prep's 5,700 live and work all over the world in every field imaginable. The Alumni Spotlight series captures our graduates' stories and Georgetown Prep's impact on their lives after their four years as a student. To submit a story, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
John Gamba, Jr. '88 recently joined the University of Pennsylvania's Graduate School of Education as the School's first entrepreneur-in-residence. He supports aspiring education entrepreneurs and helps apply research to practice to advance innovation in global education. He brings 25 years of experience as a serial entrepreneur who founded, funded and led several ed-tech start-ups. After forming his own ed-tech incubator in 1999, he co-founded PACE, a school-to-home communications platform that connected thousands of K-12 schools to millions of families in all 50 states. Less than eight years after its founding, PACE was sold to NTI Group and then to Blackboard for $182 million. Most recently, John was president and co-founder of MassiveU, an ed-tech platform that powers the world's largest education companies and serves 400,000 learners, worldwide.
After graduating from Georgetown Prep, John attended the University of Pennsylvania and majored in American History. He served as a program analyst at KPMG Peat Marwick in Washington, D.C., and then in multiple leadership roles at two interactive agencies in D.C. and California, before starting his own ed-tech incubator in Los Angeles. John balances his professional work with his commitment to his family foundation, which invests in causes to close the achievement gap within inner city schools. John is a committed husband, father and competitive triathlete who has completed several Ironman and Half Ironman triathlons, and qualified for the Half Ironman World Championships in Clearwater, FL.
What impact did Georgetown Prep have on you?
Georgetown Prep instilled the Jesuit philosophy of "Men for Others" through all of its campus and community programming. From academics, to arts to athletics and especially through my Christian Service Project, I was able to see the world from different perspectives and think about how I could serve the world for the greater good. Today, I find the most fulfillment when I'm engaged in areas of service – whether that's through mentoring impact entrepreneurs, coaching my son's baseball team, or serving on our family's foundation.
What advice do you have for current Prep students?
Find your passion! Don't settle! Listen to your inner voice! It's easy to get caught up in the world's distractions. Stay focused on who you are and where you want to make your impact and drive toward it. Engage with family and friends who are like-minded and have similar drives to make a difference. Recognize that setbacks along your journey could be incredible opportunities for growth, perspective and building purpose! The great Jesuit Richard Rohr once said, "When we fail we are merely joining the great parade of humanity that has walked ahead of us and will follow after us."