WellesleyWeston Magazine


Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

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Page 73 of 211

participants thrive on are the competitions," says Guerra, a student advisor for the international nonprofit. No doubt, business competitions get teens' creative juices flowing. Dana Hall in 2014 began offering juniors and seniors its Girls Summer Entrepreneurship Program (GSEP), which concludes with business pitches to industry experts. Assistant Head of School Rob Mather says, "It's been gratifying to see students who have engaged in the program continue to see this path for themselves in college and beyond." As has been well documented, that path has proven to be difficult for women as a result of traditional business practices. Strides have been made, with a Babson College report issued in late 2014 showing that the number of startups with women on their executive teams get- ting funding had tripled from five percent to fifteen percent over the past decade. However, more than four out of five startups receiving funding between 2011 and 2013 had no women among their leaders, according to the report. Undaunted, young women attending school in Wellesley and Weston have forged ahead. In 2013, Dana Hall students and sisters Kaya and Maddie Reingold launched a nonprofit called The Happy Institute that began with a focus on anti-bullying and has since morphed into a more broadly- focused provider of positivity-based school programs. About 700 stu- dents in grades one through eight have completed these programs. Kaya, now a senior at Dana Hall, says she got the entrepreneurial bug as a freshman when an outfit called Youth Cities paid a visit to the school, and espoused a message of applying 21st century skills as future inno- vators. The Happy Institute earned second place in a Youth Cities busi- ness competition and was on its way with a $500 seed-funding grant. "I was really intrigued by the idea of a business with the goal of solving an important issue in the community," says the 18-year-old Reingold, who has taken over as Chief Happiness Officer now that her sister is in college. "We thought, if people started teaching the impor- tance of these values [such as kindness, empathy and optimism] at a young age, we could begin to change the landscape of how kids view themselves, classmates, and the overall atmosphere of the classroom." Coming up with the idea and even forming the business is one thing, but keeping it going while still in school is another. Reingold's duties include working with teachers, going into classrooms to pres- ent the program, and then checking back later to see how it's going. "The biggest challenge 72 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | s p r i n g 2 0 1 6 Starting Early left: Kaya Reingold; right: Sisters Kaya and Maddie Reingold's nonprofit called The Happy Institute provides positivity-based school programs Coming up with the idea and even forming the business is one thing, but keeping it going while still in school is another.

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