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Multigenerational Group Tackles Challenges in Boston’s School System

General, Mini-Hack
The issue of equity is not low-hanging fruit... This month's mini-hack brought together community members of diverse backgrounds with a stake in the same mission— the betterment of the Boston public school system. It is no secret that with such expansive regional jurisdiction, issues of student allocation, school quality, and coordination of the two arise. The waitlisting system— albeit stressful— has gotten the job done for most Boston residents in the past, but for the few students who fall through the cracks every year, it has become imperative for school administrators to seek out a solution. Educators, BPS students, parents, and community members engaged in unrelenting dialogue, considering every step of the student and parents' journey and all possible bottlenecks from transportation to institutional transparency to perceptions of school quality.…
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A week in the life of … a student entrepreneur

General
Jennifer Kim Last Saturday was my birthday and the first thing that I had to do was wake up, get ready, and go to Bootcamp and mentor. Now, if I was going to spend my special day at ‘work’, I wasn’t going to just show up -- ergo me showing  up in a Stitch onesie! After another heated session of Bootcamp, my techie friends and I went to Boston to celebrate. We saw a movie called Zootopia, and the main character really resembled my own background; being a techie girl among bunch of smart guys vs. a little bunny from a little town struggling to become a cop in Zootopia (where “everyone get along and anyone could be anything”) among other bigger and stronger animals. The best part about this…
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The Story Continues by Ethan Wong

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Our main goal has been accomplished, we filed for a provisional patent. Great! But what now? That’s the main question that Jennifer and I were faced with when discussing our idea further. We didn’t really know the hardware that went into our idea, and we truly didn’t know who we needed to approach in order to get the answers that we needed. That’s when we decided to present at a Monthly Minihack. These “hacks” also run by Youth CITIES, allow entrepreneurs of any age and at any stage of their business to present their problem to an audience of business professions, other serial entrepreneurs and students. Then we brainstorm about the potential solutions that could potentially solve these problems. We entered the minihack with a couple of key points that…
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Life as a Teenage Entrepreneur – by Jennifer Kim

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I was introduced to the STEM and business world in 6th grade, when I was just following my older brother and accidentally stepped into my middle school’s Technology and Engineering Club. Before then, I didn’t know that girls could participate in such hands-on activities, based on where I grew up. It really sparked me to take a deeper path in the field when the club advisor, Mr. Monagle, showed us a video that explained what it means to be an entrepreneur. The description was of a person who is creative, innovative, but also crazy. I was inspired by how people can use their ideas and apply science to help create technologies that could solve problems in the world. And this is how this one accidental encounter had changed my life.…
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The Story Begins – by Ethan Wong

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It all started when my friends began an entrepreneurship program in Cambridge, this program encouraged them to think about problems that were negatively impacting our community and what we can do to stop them. This entrepreneurship program was the March-to-May Bootcamp created by Youth CITIES. Whether it was introducing a new program or creating a new product in order to tackle the problem, this program made my friends excited about creative problem solving. We were all middle school students at this time.  After around the 7th class of this program, one of my friends, Jennifer Kim, came up to me to discuss about problems in society that she was brainstorming and the solutions that she had came up with. One of these problems was the shocking statistic of car thefts…
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CITIES Voices – moving beyond the idea

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  We all have ideas.  We've daydreamed, contemplated, complained, and wished upon a star...whether it's for better technology, living conditions, access to education, ways to communicate...you can fill in the blank here.  A lot of times, that's as far as we go - thinking about ideas.  It is the fear of starting?  The fear of failure?  Because it's a really long and winding road to make change happen? Then there are those who are not content to just come up with ideas for something better, but are going beyond the idea stage to actually doing?  They are not waiting for things to happen...they are making it happen.  Sometimes it's successful.  Often times it's a bumpy ride. CITIES Voices (#CITIESvoices) is a platform for CITIES Scholars to share about the things…
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April Entrepreneur Spotlight

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For the first time, the spotlight will shift to a different timezone. The chapter of Youth CITIES in St. Louis, MO has officially been launched and is hosting its own March to May bootcamp alongside its sister in Boston. This month’s Newsletter will feature the Director of the Bootcamp in Missouri, Keith Turner. Keith is a serial entrepreneur that, while starting several of his own companies over the last decade, has found value in the youth and entrepreneurial communities in St. Louis. Keith Turner is the President of TurnGroup Technologies, LLC, a company that he founded in April of 2002. TurnGroup is an IT consulting firm that provides cost-effective technology solutions to small corporations and nonprofits. His involvement in both the entrepreneurial community has earned him the “Salutation to Youth…
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February Entrepreneur Spotlight

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This month’s spotlight is on one of the most integral and consistent members of the Youth CITIES community. Brendan Kohler is a mentor at the March to May bootcamp and our most frequent facilitator for the Monthly Mini-hack series. Brendan recently went through a working exit at Seldera, where he worked as a Software Engineer In the fashion of a typical, successful entrepreneur, Brendan will take off an entire weekend before starting his new role as Operating Partner at Boston Global Ventures (BGV). As amazing as this role is, the way that he found himself in the position to accept it is even more noteworthy. Through his time volunteering with the Harvard iLab and even through his efforts at Youth CITIES, Brendan met and became friends with the Founding Partner…
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TEDx Talk from Youth CITIES Alumnus, Toni Oloko

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Toni Oloko is one of the most successful young people in New England, and was also the subject of the October Youth CITIES entrepreneur spotlight. He also just gave a TEDx speech at the TEDxYouth series hosted by the TEDxBeaconStreet organization. His TED talk focused on two major themes; that to become smart, you need to listen to and surround yourself with smart people. The other is that ‘smart’ people aren’t always the ones in suits making all the money. In his talk, he advised that everyone has a story to tell and something to teach, and we need to learn from them. He ended on a call to action; to crowdsource the changes that will occur to our collective future by giving the stage and the mic to everyone,…
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January Entrepreneurship Spotlight

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This month, our spotlight is moving to one of the facilitators utilized by Youth CITIES. Chris Wolfel has been involved in our community for several years as a mentor in the YC March-to-May Bootcamp and occasionally as a mini-hack facilitator. Going into college, Chris had always thought he would end up being a lawyer. Fortunately for us, after working at the Northeastern University Law School and another separate internship , he was turned on to the field of entrepreneurship. After taking a few classes, he realized his passion was in the challenge that working for a start-up poses; he loved the idea of taking something small, and growing or building it into something huge. He was with Northeastern’s Venture Accelerator from almost the very beginning, and became it’s CEO until…
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