Impact: One Year Later
On April 18, 2013 forty-five student teams pitched their social ventures at the 4th Annual LearnServe Panels and Venture Fair.
Ever wonder what happens after they debut their ideas before 150 local business and non-profit leaders? Below are highlights of their accomplishments over the past year!
We hope you will join us on April 24, 2014 for our 5th Annual LearnServe Panels and Venture Fair – an opportunity to meet our newest cohort of LearnServe Fellows, and launch them on a similar path to success.
2013 LearnServe Fellows
Thomas Bernhardt-Lanier – Founder, Global Villager (French International School, MD)
>> Launched with a successful series of fundraisers – soccer tournaments, crowd-funding, and other appeals – that raised more than $11,000 to support the village of Bakwa-Tshileu in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Malachi Byrd and Jahi Sule – Founders, Write for Change (Cesar Chavez Public Charter School, DC and School Without Walls, DCPS)
>> Kicked off in Spring 2013 with a series of spoken word workshops for DC middle school students. Jahi has taken a lead role in organizing “One Mic: Hip Hop Culture Worldwide” at the Kennedy Center’s Millenium Stage (March-April 2014).
Malachi continues to write, compete in poetry competitions, and teach. He led a public speaking workshop at LearnServe’s Social Action Summit. Malachi was recognized with the Stephen Joel Trachtenberg Scholarship, a four-year full tuition scholarship to George Washington University, valued at $260,000.
Aileen Choi – Founder, Message Behind the Music (Winston Churchill High School, MCPS)
>> Began teaching songs with positive lyrics in Fall 2013 to her own church choir. Aileen is working to kick off her own choir of elementary school students this spring.
Joyce Choi – Founder, Learning & Inspiration for Everyone (Thomas Jefferson High School, FCPS)
>> LIFE holds one-hour sessions every other week at Weyanoke Elementary School — offering fun, hands-on science experiments for students with disabilities. One high school volunteer is assigned to each student with learning disabilities – building towards a mini science fair.
Haley Crim and Sirah Bah – Founders, Team Change (Sandy Spring Friends School, MD)
>> Their latest fundraiser brought in more than $700, which they donated to Action Against Hunger to bring clean water and disaster relief to the Philippines.
Olivia DeRamus – Founder, Amitie (St. Andrews Episcopal School, MD)
>> Teamed up with LearnServe Fellow Allegra Brandon (Edmund Burke, DC) to collect and send books in English, French, and Creole to Haiti. They have formed partnerships with Episcopal schools in Haiti, and are working now to raise funds to both ship and personally bring the books they have collected.
Anshula Gandhi – Founder, Jot Happy (Thomas Jefferson High School, FCPS)
>> Repackaged “Jot Happy” as an app to improve mental health – in consultation with a licensed psychologist – and submitted it to an online competition around technology-based approaches to suicide prevention. While Jot Happy has not fully launched, Anshula is working to form a new venture around computer science education for elementary school students.
Jessica Li – Founder, VOICE and the MoCo Student (Richard Montgomery High School, MCPS)
>> In the past year, Jessica has launched not one but two ventures. “VOICE” offers supplemental academic support to immigrant students. The “MoCo Student” is a web-based student newspaper with more than 5,000 subscribers. Jessica was selected a Maryland honoree in the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards.
Bowen Lian – Founder, Community2Community (Richard Montgomery High School, MCPS)
>> Launched in Fall 2013 to connect Richard Montgomery high school volunteers with Asbury Methodist Village, a senior housing community. In partnership with the music honors society at their school, they are planning a spring concert at Asbury.
Samyu Krishna and Meg Cunningham – Founders, Beyond the Sidewalk (Sidwell Friends, DC)
>> Published a series of 6 interviews with homeless individuals affiliated with Friendship Place, a shelter in NW DC. As her senior project, Samyu plans to expand Beyond the Sidewalk to focus on the broader political and social dynamics of DC’s homelessness crises.
Tyriek Mack and Malik Johnson – Founders, Cashonomics (School Without Walls, DCPS)
>> Tyriek was recognized as a Posse Scholar, with a full tuition scholarship to University of Wisconsin, Madison.
Emily Richardson – Founder, NoVa Youth Pride (Woodson High School, FCPS)
>> After launching “NoVa Youth Pride” as a Tumblr discussion forum in Spring 2013, Emily went on to create a Gay-Straight Alliance at Woodson High School in Fall 2013.
Julia Rodriguez – Founder, Rallying Against Domestic Violence (Falls Church High School, FCPS)
>> Introduced as an initiative within her student council, RADV has led school fundraisers and a clothing drive to support a local shelter. The team is planning a spring Domestic Violence Awareness Week and a t-shirt fundraiser.
Tho Tran – Founder, Lovable Math (Annandale High School, FCPS)
>> Integrated into the Math Honors Society, Lovable Math allows tutors to add online tutoring options to their repertoire. Tho’s website offers a virtual tutoring platform, where tutors and tutees can work out their own schedules.
Kayla Waysome – Founder, Promises for the Future; Books and Buddies (McLean High School, FCPS)
>> Launched over the summer with a fundraiser – gift baskets of healthy foods – that raised more than $250 to support health education for elementary school students through Promises for the Future. Kayla has since formed a new venture, Books and Buddies, which pairs honors English students with 3rd and 4th graders. Meeting every two weeks over 4 months, the high school students help the elementary students prepare for the English standardized test.
Mackenzie Williams – Founder, Enviro-FUN (Potomac High School, VA)
>> A series of three summer sessions, Enviro-FUN taught 10 kids, ages 7-10, about recycling, pollution, and endangered species.