All Students Need a StartUp Weekend

I came from the 3rd poorest region in America, attended the 3rd most prestigious University for Chemical Engineering and still left feeling like a 2nd rate citizen. Educators have pondered how to address the feelings of isolation and abandonment that can occur being the “only one.” This and similar discussions regarding the holistic wellness of learners is something we are always seeking to address.

IERN WILL Educational Consulting is designing a curriculum that takes that personal and wellness supports within the community and pairs them with workforce development tools to create multiple pathways to success. That’s the essence of our company’s foundation. IERN WILL recognizes that children’s surface behaviors can be both an indicator of circumstance, but not of potential for success.

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Fewer entrepreneurs are successful without mentors.  The empathy alone creates a level of comfort even without extensive guidance. Having mentors can help propel a business owners into circles like StartUp Weekend Pittsburgh, for example,  that can lead to community building collabos for start-up success.


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While grateful for the opportunity, and bummed about my inability to attend, the StartUp Weekend process should be accessible for students with the least resources. We are about utilizing systems thinking that works to help create globally competitive students.  Fewer resources often suggests less exposure and will inevitably lead to unfamiliarity and unfortunately less guidance. The same intensity behind this unique gathering for unprecedented  community collaboration, critical thinking and creativity happening during StartUp Weekend Pittsburgh has to be the same dedicated to generating for every single student.  (Currently we call them IEPs or Indivdual Education Plans)

Back in August I posted the picture of the work IMAGINE. On November 20, UNICEF gained the support of Steve Harvey for the #Imagine Every Child Counts campaign that had his audience on both Facebook and the Twitter paying attention.

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As a community we must imagine a world where we are not separate.  Where the tradition of Ubuntu is carried on.  Every student deserves a village where learning happens everywhere, but we teach that “What you do affects the whole world.”

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To the fellow #StartUp crew in Pittsburgh and across the globe, your work matters.  You can’t get a great idea off the ground alone and you can’t be human all by yourself.  So let’s stop forcing the reality on our children.  “Take the Pledge!”


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