By Cary Shuman
Students from Lynn English, Lynn Classical, and KIPP Academy attended a youth leadership and entrepreneurship conference at Harvard University in Cambridge.
Harvard senior Eric Ouyang, president and founder of Sponsr (correct spelling) Us, said the mission of the event was “to inspire students to be leaders in their community and take an active part in making their community the community they want it to be.”
More than 80 students took part in workshops and heard Harvard graduate and keynote speaker Brad Matthiessen talk about his local startup companies, ClassForward, an edtech company focused on teacher coaching, and Kerrage, a software consulting firm creating software solutions for point-of-sale customer loyalty systems.
“I was really impressed by the Lynn students,” said Ouyang. “They’re smart, engaged, and personable – it’s been really awesome working with them.”
Travis Davis, a senior at Lynn English, said he enjoyed the educational event.
“I like how it’s encouraging students to think beyond the box and follow their dreams and aspirations,” said Davis. “I hope to own a business one day.”
Davis credited English guidance counselor Matt Wilkins for recommending him for the conference. “Mr. Wilkins is always there to help me.”
Davis was a student presenter at the conference, telling the assemblage that the three aspects of leadership are self-confidence, self-awareness, and never giving up.
Justin Fenton, a junior at KIPP Academy, said, “I’ve learned a lot at the conference about business, entrepreneurship, and mainly leadership.”
Fenton made a presentation about his experiences as a leader, noting that he is involved in several community service projects.
Classical juniors Kelvin Ruiz and Anabel Vega lauded the conference organizers.
“I learned some leadership and communications skills,” said Vega, who hopes to own a beauty salon in the future. “It’s great being at Harvard today. It’s great to get a taste of a college environment and what it has to offer.”