Built in collaboration with Sacred Heart Schools in Atherton, CA, the new program brought together 20 rising juniors from both 91st Street and Atherton for two weeks—one on each coast. Through experiential learning and engagement with industry leaders, the Summer Exploratory aimed to ignite students’ entrepreneurial spirit.
The cohort spent the first week in New York City. Using 91st Street as home base, they visited with the New York Stock Exchange, Estée Lauder Companies, Oula Health, JP Morgan Chase, Coatue Management, the Bjarke Ingels Group, and Rent the Runway. Teams of students also engaged in a collaborative design sprint to build a solution for a real-world challenge.
For the second week, the cohort flew across the country to the San Francisco Bay Area and the Atherton campus. They visited with the Sares Regis Group, Refuge Biotechnologies, SR One Capital Management, Solv. Health, Bricoleur Vineyards, and Salesforce. Teams continued their design sprints and ultimately tested their prototypes with residents of Oakwood, a retirement community for the RSCJ.
Throughout the program, the students connected one on one with women leaders in networking sessions. They spoke with and learned from women in the spaces of finance, health technology, and technology from companies and organizations such as KKR, American Securities, PEWIN, Certares, I AM ALS, COTA Healthcare, Current Health, Sleuth, Calmigo, PagerDuty, Upwork, Toast, Corel Corporation, Andreessen Horowitz, and CapitalG.
“The program inspired students’ minds and hearts,” said Charlene Chuang, 91st Street’s Director of Network Programs, who led the program along with Atheron’s Assistant Principal for Strategic Projects, Dan Brady. “Each day was filled with opportunities for them to learn different approaches to building a better world, to create connections and build empathy, and to reflect on the intentions and actions they would commit to each day and into the future.”
One of the most meaningful elements for students, she said, was experiencing the power of the Sacred Heart network. Students met alumnae of Sacred Heart schools from around the country who are leaders in their fields and who continue to draw from their Sacred Heart educations. And more profoundly, they developed deep bonds with one another through their shared Sacred Heart experience.
“The strength of the network was palpable throughout the fifteen days of the program,” said Ms. Chuang. In fact, she said, it was the Sacred Heart spirit of generosity and community that made the program possible and a true success.
“As students, faculty, staff, alumnae, and families came together from across the network, you could feel a special energy,” she said. “We are so grateful to each individual who played a role in giving these students a life-changing summer and opened up a world of possibilities for how they might impact the world.
Participants will continue to develop their entrepreneurial skills in a series of seminars throughout the academic year. For more information and to view photos from this summer's program, click here.