SEAL connects communities. We pair college students with elementary students and watch the sparks fly as they read, play, and learn together.
In my freshman year, some friends and I pitched our idea for Students Expanding Austin Literacy (SEAL) at the Envision Austin Social Innovation Competition. We won $1000, the “Most Impactful Idea” award, and spent the summer nurturing our baby “startup.”
As president, I built partnerships with non-profits, developed a multi-channel recruitment strategy, led meetings, maintained our blog and website, and helped launch a community-based service learning course at UT.
In just four semesters, we sent over 140 weekly volunteers to 11 elementary and residential campuses. Those volunteers booked around 2,000 hours of reading time with kiddos.
Starting SEAL was how I bridged my love for entrepreneurship and education. It let me read with kids by day and slave over Harvard Business School case studies by night.
Before the start of my senior year, I stepped down as president and let some younger folks take over. They did not disappoint. The new officers continued to onboard hundreds of volunteers each semester and even registered Students Expanding American Literacy as a 501(c)(3) non-profit. Today, I am on the non-profit board of directors and will be leading SEAL’s expansion to North Texas.