A student from Western Center Academy, Isabella Martinez, has been given the opportunity to attend Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Launch Summer program. The program consists of high school students from all over the world that come together to grow their entrepreneurial skills while launching a real startup business with the help of mentors and resources at MIT.
Isabella said she has a passion for entrepreneurship. She created her own non-profit, Net4Seniors, where she hosts free technology classes for seniors. She is hoping to expand the idea to other high schools statewide, and some day nation-wide. She said she is happy to be able to bridge the divide of communication with senior citizens. She noticed that seniors often feel isolated due to their lack of understanding electronic forms of communication. She hopes her project will allow more families to connect on a regular basis and allow senior citizens to be more involved in 21st century technology.
Isabella said she is excited to have been given this opportunity to participate in this program. She said this is her third year applying for it, after being denied the last two years. Isabella received her acceptance into the summer program from MIT where it stated their admissions rate for this summer was around 12%, which made it their most competitive program to date.
In order to be considered for the program, Isabella had a Skype interview with MIT representatives. Due to the time difference, the interview was held at 4:00 a.m. She said the questions she was asked were very interesting and dealt a lot with the type of personalities candidates had. They also asked her what type of entrepreneur she would categorize herself as: designer, hacker, or hustler. She said the representative was impressed with her speaking abilities and that she was asked to join a TEDx Talk.
Isabella said she has a lot to look forward to during the 4-week summer program. She is excited to meet people from all over the world and work together to create new ideas. In spite of her excitement, she is nervous to travel to Washington D.C. by herself; this will be the first time she will travel without her parents. She said the experience will help her prepare for college, because the summer program provides housing, but she is on her own for food and things like that. She started a GoFundMe page to help pay for food, travel, and part of the summer program.
Congratulations Isabella on being accepted to the MIT Launch program! We wish you the best of luck during your time at MIT. We know you will represent Western Center Academy and Hemet Unified well.