This year a new pilot course at Andover will help turn student’s ideas into a reality as part of the Thought into Action (TIA) program.
Wills Hapworth, founder of DarkHorse Investors, a non-profit “mentor fund” that works with young entrepreneurs around the world, formed the TIA group at Andover to focus on creating opportunities for entrepreneurship.
The programs pilot includes nine students, Eric Ouyang ’13, Greg Hosono ’14, Molly Engel ’14, Apsara Iyer ’12, Rani Iyer ’15, Charlotte Aaron ’14, Angela Leocata ’13, and Makenzie Schwartz ’14. The class may grow as students add partners to their respective teams, allowing more individuals to participate in the new initiative.
Each student is responsible for a different project that they will work to develop over the course of the year. Among the projects included proposals to launch Andover’s first foreign language magazine, an iAndover mobile application, introduced to the community this past week and a program to help middle school girls pursue science. A complete list of the projects can be accessed at http://andovertia.com/projects/list/).
Hosono said, “iAndover is a mobile application for the Phillips Academy community that was launched on September 30 to make information about Phillips Academy more accessible to members of the community.”
“Thought into Action provide an avenue, previously non-existent at Phillips Academy, for students interested in social entrepreneurship to learn about this exciting field and to receive support for their projects,” said Ouyang.
Hapworth coordinated with Deborah Murphy, Director of Alumni Affarirs, Austin Arensberg ’01 and Biz Ghormley ’00 to bring the TIA program to Andover. The application for the program was available to students over the summer.
Hapworth said he felt that Andover was a logical place for a program such as TIA, as Andover scholars“[were] known as active and motivated students on campus who have overlapping interests.”
Andover is the first preparatory school to form a club such as TIA. Hapworth will decide whether he wants to continue forming TIA programs in other secondary schools, depending on the success and the response of TIA in Andover.
“We’re hoping with success of this pilot, we will be able to enroll other talented entrepreneurs at peer schools. There is a tremendous advantage for the student to be able to connect and partner with students at other schools in order to build and scale their projects,” Hapworth said.
“[TIA is] in the process of rolling in talented entrepreneurial alums who will serve as mentors for the students in the program.”
The goal of integrating alumni into the program is to help the students plan every step of the way to reach their goals, Hapworth said. Adults’ role in TIA is not only to educate the students about entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship, but to support the students as well by being available for quick questions and even conferences.
“There seems to be a serious interest at your student level, and the interest is matched by an equally large group of talented recent-grads who want to get re-involved at Phillips Academy in a meaningful way,” Hapworth continued.
Through TIA, Hapworth hopes to help students understand how social pursuits are initiated, processed, and accomplished successfully. They will also use these lessons to implement start-up projects of their choice.
“Thought into Action helps students develop the entrepreneurial survival-skills necessary to take any idea and turn it into reality. They build skills as a creative thinker and problem solver, and improve communication and presenting skills,” said Hapworth.
The TIA “course” should help students work effectively in fields that interest them, such as programming, business, finance, and legal and public policy.
The programs first meeting will be on October 9 in the Grey Room at Commons