By John Lynds
Last Wednesday Forbes Magazine held a Service Day at several Boston Public Schools (BPS) including two schools in East Boston.
At the Donald McKay and Patrick J. Kennedy Schools young entrepreneurs from across the world engaged students to discuss how they became successful superstars and game changers in the fields of software engineering and computer game design as well as education.
At the Kennedy School Trent Kusters, co-founder and director at League of Geeks discussed his career as a creator of digital board games like “Armello” while over at the McKay School Nushelle De Silva, founder of Building Bridges, a Sri Lanka-based social enterprise that uses the creative arts to effect reconciliation and sustained dialogue between young people of diverse ethnic and religious groups, talked with students about her global work.
The goal of the Service Day at the two Eastie schools was to inspire the next generation of young entrepreneurs and truly make an impact in the local community in Boston.
“This is an event designed to leave Boston, our host city, better than we found it,” said Randall Lane, Editor of Forbes magazine. “The Forbes Under 30 Summit’s Service Day epitomizes that mission.”
Each school developed an individualized program, focusing on technology, innovation and entrepreneurship. In addition to speaking in assemblies and classrooms, the participants walked the students through the college admissions process, provide guidance on application essays, lead mock interviews and offer career advice.
“We’re very excited to welcome Forbes 30 Under 30 honorees to Boston Public Schools to mentor our students,” said Superintendent of Boston Public Schools Tommy Chang. “It is important that our young people see living examples of how leadership knows no bounds in terms of age, race, or any other parts of our core identity. I’m confident that this experience will be transformative for our schools, and I am grateful to Forbes for making this Service Day possible.”
At the McKay School, Principal Jordan Weymer said he was excited to host the Under 30 program.
“The McKay School was so excited to host the 30 Under 30 Honorees,” said Weymer. “The day was a great opportunity for our students to learn from a diverse group of accomplished individuals who reinforced the idea that if you work hard, believe in yourself, and stay committed to your dreams you can do anything”.
At the Kennedy, Principal Kristen Concalves said she was amazed at how engaged the students were during the event.
“The students were so engaged in Trent Kusters’ story and experience,” said Concalves. “They had researched him the day before and prepared questions to create a mock interview. To learn how video game creation connects to the subjects they are currently learning was a powerful experience for our students. Hearing Trent tell his story of his struggle with math through elementary and high school also helped prove to students that working hard at something that does not come easy to you will pay off. All in all it was a really successful day.”
The Under 30 Service Day capped off the the Forbes’ 30 Under 30 Summit in Boston. The summit was a week long event to celebrate Forbes’ Under 30 franchise, a global multichannel platform that comprises 30 Under 30 lists that feature young game changers. The lists are published in print and online all over the world. The franchise also includes live summits in Asia and Israel and an Under 30 channel on Forbes.com.
“The Forbes 30 Under 30 Service Day was a true success and a real treat for Boston Public Schools’ students,” said Danielle Crystal, deputy chief of staff at Boston Public Schools. “Through fun and engaging conversations, students were mentored and inspired to achieve more throughout their academic pathways to professional careers. School leaders, teachers, and students all were so very impressed with our guest speakers. There are endless career possibilities for our students and it was a great opportunity for our students to hear of positive experiences from a young, diverse set of Forbes 30 Under 30 role models.”
Trent Kusters, co founder and director at League of Geeks discussed his career as a creator of digital board games like “Armello” with students at the Patrick J. Kennedy School during Frobes’ Under 30 Service Day.
Nushelle De Silva, founded Building Bridges, a Sri Lanka-based social enterprise that uses the creative arts to effect reconciliation and sustained dialogue between young people of diverse ethnic and religious groups, talks with students.
McKay School Principal Jordan Weymer (center) poses with the Forbes’ 30 Under 30 team during their Service Day at the school.