History of the Quaqua Society Quaqua is the first scholarship and awards program of any kind open to all alternative educators throughout the United States (not to mention throughout the world).
Quaqua is also the first, and only, scholarship and awards program for alternative educators which is at once tax-exempt, charitable, merit-based, and free from any eligibility restrictions based upon geographic locale, demographic characteristics, or organizational affiliation.
As a last "first," Quaqua is the first, and only, scholarship and awards program for alternative educators with a comprehensive set of procedures designed to provide a controlled merit selection process, organizational transparency, and demographically-diverse volunteer leadership participation.
The start of the Quaqua Society coincides with the new, prosperous era enjoyed by most home educators in the United States in the wake of Troxel v. Granville, 99-138 (2000). In Troxel, several Supreme Court justices attempted to eliminate parental rights entirely, a move which would have severely crippled the home-education movement. Fortunately, however, the majority handed down a landmark Supreme-Court decision which recognized parental-rights as "fundamental".
Dan first started floating the idea of an awards and scholarship program to home education leaders back in 1991. He continued to advocate and develop the concept in an informal way until 1999.
During 1999, which was the first year after Dan's 1998 graduation from law school, the effort accelerated. Dan wrote and spoke about the concept to numerous leaders in alternative education from across America and around the world. He never ceased to widely circulate plans, invite participation, and gather feedback about how to make the program inclusive, meaningful, credible, and fair. Dan took special inspiration from Dr. Milton Friedman, who wrote that the Quaqua concept was a "splendid idea" and offered various insights about how to best start the foundation (and an economic analysis of the home-education movement to boot).
By the spring of 2000,Dan had roughed out the basic organizational and legal scheme for his concept, and felt prepared to implement his concept for the onset of a new millennium. Dan commenced Quaqua's first search for the most outstanding example of home-education in action that he could find anywhere in the world. In June 2000, George Abraham Thampy made national headlines by placing first in the National Spelling Bee and second in the National Geography Bee.
By early 2001, and after the consideration of numerous other impressive candidates in consultation with informed collaborators, Dan confirmed that George Thampy would be Quaqua's first Protege Award recipient. While continuing the ongoing process of polishing all aspects of Quaqua, Dan worked with selected home-education leaders to make the arrangements needed to fully honor George Thampy. Dan also vetted nominees to be the 2001 recipients of the Quaqua Elijah Award, and made similar arrangements for them. His organizational outreach continued unabated.
By summer of 2001, Dan had identified the designs and names that Quaqua would use as service marks. He initiated the lengthy formal process required to secure legal protection for Quaqua's service marks and copyrighted material. During the latter half of 2001, he wrote the pages for the Quaqua website and, with the assistance of his team, soon had the website online. He also filed the extensive legal paperwork required to formally designate Quaqua as a tax-exempt, non-profit, charitable corporation. To create a convenient "fiscal tax year" and avoid extraneous costs, Dan delayed Quaqua's incorporation date from summer 2001 until January 7, 2002.
Having put all of the other components into place, Dan and his team intensified outreach efforts in 2002. Through advertising, interpersonal communication, phone calls, and other efforts, Dan welcomed all segments of the home-education community and continued to search for the best talent he could find.
Although Quaqua is committed to continuous improvement, Dan is proud of how far the Society has already progressed. He also believes that his efforts have spurred other home educators to think more intensely about the need to provide award programs, enhance college access, and new opportunities for financial aid. Dan believes that his push for Quaqua has inspired others to develop additional unaffiliated programs for recognizing and aiding outstanding home-education students.
Dan will continue to draw on his own experience as a home-education graduate to help Quaqua provide a positive example of service outreach and civil cooperation. He also anticipates that Quaqua will continue to inspire others to develop the new ideas and programs needed to preserve the vitality of a rapidly evolving alternative-education community.
We are proud of our unique organizational design, which helps address a previously unmet need in our diverse community. We are excited about our opportunity to showcase the excellence of alternative educators around the world.
1) Index of Quaqua Legal and Historical Pages
3) Legal Resources
4) Quaqua Society Home Page
Quaqua is the first scholarship and awards program of any kind open to all alternative educators throughout the United States (not to mention throughout the world).