“Look What I Started!”

I recently attended BUA’s first-ever Shark Tank-style business plan competition. Our students pitched their entrepreneurial ideas to a panel of judges – everything from sustainably sourced protein powders to an organizational app for students to keep track of homework and other assignments. There were quite a few pitches, and the room was filled with student spectators cheering them on. A few weeks earlier, I attended BUA’s first-ever hackathon: Hack@BUA. BUA students organized and ran a competition for dozens of middle and high school students across the Boston area challenging them to come up with a technological solution to a pressing societal challenge.

BUA students dreamed up these events. With the support of the adults in the community, the students planned and executed them. And, in both cases, they are already thinking about what these events will look like next year. They will be part of these students’ legacies hopefully long after they graduate.

We know that having a sense of purpose plays a central role in happiness and fulfillment, and that purpose comes from engaging in something that is both personally meaningful and meaningful to others. Through these types of experiences, these students got a taste of just that. If that taste turns into a lifelong habit, that will be a boon not just to these students, but to all of us.

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