Today, I had the opportunity to attend the Youth Summit at the Tom Tom Founders Festival. Although this event was geared towards younger individuals (high school) I was able to hear two young innovative speakers, Nikhil Goyal and Leilei Secor.
Nikhil is a 20-year-old activist who wanted to speak on the subject of educational malpractice. From his own experiences in high school in Long Island, he found that many people were not only bored and disengaged but also there was a mental health crisis. Along with this mental health crisis came the pressures of succeeding in school, sleep deprivation, and possibly prescription drugs. Nikhil wanted answers and reached out to many educational reformers and is still working on his solution to a better education system. He urged the youth to find something, to inform themselves, and to get involved.
Leilei is a second year from UVA and started her own Etsy company, Designed by Lei, the summer before her Junior year of high school. She was unable to find a job and decided to start making her own jewelry and to sell it online. She began looking for trending ideas and different things that she could easily change to what she believed was better and then sold them at a competitive price. By doing so, Leilei was able to purchase her own car and raised over $100K dollars in revenue last year. Her message was that many things can be taught, but passion cannot be and she urged the youth to find something they were passionate about and to pursue it.
Both Nikhil and Leilei provided great information on how they became such successful entrepreneurs at a young age and their talks were very useful. I enjoyed the event and took many things away from it.