An Independent School • Grades 5-12

by Navya D. ’23

A month ago, I saw an opportunity in The Bull, the Upper School student newsletter, for doing a Global Youth Innovathon in which you get put into a group of people from around the USA and Ukraine to create a business idea and pitch it to a team of esteemed judges. In this competition, there were ten teams, each with seven to 10 students. The first-place team got funding to invest in their business plan and an extensive list of mentors to help them along the way. The second-place team also got an extensive list of mentors to help them develop their business idea. 

I am proud to say that after three days of non-stop hard work, my team came second place in the competition! This experience was amazing and I got to meet many great people. My team consisted of nine students; three Americans, one Mexican-American exchange student, and five Ukrainians. I learned so many aspects of creating a business such as financing, creating a good pitch, web design, and most importantly how to work with a team managing around time zones and language barriers.

By the end of the weekend, my team created a non-profit business plan focused on youth volunteer opportunities. With the help of mentors from the Global Youth Entrepreneurs, we’re now working to create an app and website and hope to launch our company soon. 

I have found a great community at Lakeside, and through this community, I have also found volunteering opportunities that are now an essential part of my life. Service and my experience at Lakeside really helped me guide the work that I did at the Global Youth Innovathon and I hope that my passion can be shared with people around the world through the platform my team is hoping to create. This experience and success would not have been possible without the amazing Lakeside community, and I am so proud to be a Lakeside Lion!