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Commitment to Sustainability

NEIA will embark on a co-creation journey to integrate climate action and sustainability.

PIN Points

  • Tom Woelper outlines NEIA’s approach to sustainability and names a climate and sustainability advisor to guide the development of these initiatives.

  • The work is centered on three grounding principles, namely circular, regenerative, and catalytic.

  • Olga Faktorovich Allen, a Guardian of a rising 7th grader, will join NEIA’s team as a Climate and Sustainability Advisor.

Head of School Tom Woelper outlined NEIA’s approach to sustainability and named a climate and sustainability advisor to guide the development of these initiatives. The approach aligns with NEIA’s focus on working collaboratively with our community to lead change in a meaningful and inclusive manner.

“As we embark on the second year of our groundbreaking school, I reflect on the urgency of the moment we are witnessing and the potential of our community to make a real difference. Climate change is the existential challenge of our time,” said Tom Woelper, Head of School. “It exacerbates existing vulnerabilities and threatens to undo most of the social and economic progress achieved over the last 50 years. Although signs of the changing climate are all around us (disastrous floods, prolonged extreme temperatures, raging fires, unprecedented drought), science tells us there is still time to act – and every action matters.”

As a community of innovators and entrepreneurs, NEIA is bound by the conviction that radical empathy can transform the most entrenched systems. The school community is committed to bold climate action, worthy of the urgency of this moment and our very own brand of change makers.

True to the school’s ethos, NEIA will embark on a co-creation journey to integrate climate action and sustainability that is centered on three grounding principles:

  • Circular – design out waste and pollution
  • Regenerative – restore systems to achieve net-positive impacts for ecology, health, and society
  • Catalytic – spark wider change

NEIA will apply these principles across the school’s operations, curriculum, and culture to bring about measurable progress and meaningful co-creation towards a net-positive future.

To help accelerate our progress on this journey, Olga Faktorovich Allen, a Guardian of a rising 7th grader, will join our team as a Climate and Sustainability Advisor. Olga is a Senior Director of Climate Integration at Abt Associates, a global research-to-practice consulting firm working at the intersection of disciplines and sectors such as health, climate, agriculture, housing, and economic security – to advance sustainable development and the human condition around the world.

NEIA will continue to share updates on sustainability efforts and action plans as the real work comes into focus these next few months.

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After our first full week into summer, we want to look back on a year-long project that yielded impressive results for three of our amazing rising 12th graders.

This past fall, NEIA 11th graders pitched products that could add value to people’s lives by curing diseases or ailments. This is part of the BioTrek Program: a joint initiative by ARMI (Advanced Regenerative Medical Institute) and BioFabUSA. Students pitched their amazing ideas to Tim McCauley, their peers, and a panel of judges made up of NEIA staff members. 

Throughout these presentations, our students walked through all phases of the Biotrek journey. First, identifying a problem. Second, engineering a solution using bio-manufacturing techniques. In the third phase, they developed a business and financial model for their product. The final phase was this event: pitching to their peers and judges. They are trying to solve real medical issues, such as endometriosis, chronic lung disease, color blindness, and osteogenesis (just to name a few). 

The winners moved on to the Final Presentations judged by representatives from ARMI and Biofab, which decided
who would represent NEIA against other schools in the Biotrek Championship. The winning group chosen to go to the championship was Endopexy, created by Milena, Lila, and Max H.

Milena, Lila, and Max’s hard worked paid off as they were the winning team of the championships. We are so proud of these three innovators for working hard the whole year and being recognized in such a highly competitive program.

This project-based learning program continues to be a very valuable experience for our innovators. You can clearly see the intersection of subjects like science, math, entrepreneurship, and communications. It is the perfect example of how integrated academics lead to exciting projects and connections.

#NEIA #BioTrek #Innovation #entrepreneur #entrepreneurship #integration
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This weekend, three of our 11th grade students: Vicki, Owen, and Langston, won first place at the Entrepreneurship for All - EforAll All Ideas Pitch Competition for their idea around the NEXTGEN Summit, a conference that Langston initiated this spring at NEIA.

Owen explains the idea to execution as follows, "My mother is an alum of the Entrepreneurship for All (EforAll) Business Accelerator Program. One night while scrolling Instagram, she found a post by EforAll about an All Ideas Pitch Competition happening. She sent me the post at 11:20 p.m. and we were signed up for the event by 12:15 a.m. A few weeks later we were selected to table at the event with the potential of being able to participate in the final pitch competition. We landed a spot in the pitch competition, and it was a huge success as we not only won the first place prize of $1000, but also won the Fan Favorite prize for an additional $500. We were by far the youngest attendees at the event and were pitching with people who were already well removed from college."

We are so proud of our innovators and commend them for their efforts to not only seek new opportunities each and every day but to thrive within them.

#NEIA #PitchCompetition #EForAll #NEXTGENSummit #NEXTGEN #FutureOfEducation #Innovation #Entrepreneurship
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That’s a wrap! We will see you soon, innovators. We miss you already.

#LastDayOfSchool #Summer #NEIA #innovators #summerbreak
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