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NEIA’s North Star: The Founding Class of 2024

We say goodbye to the "vanguard 15," NEIA's first graduating class.

12th Grade Showcase – Thursday

This event for 12th-grade guardians and innovators had laughs, tears, and a finale we’ll never forget.

As part of the Showcase, the 12th graders unveiled their capstone Innovation Studio project, a museum exhibition that promotes or spotlights a social issue, everything from “the pink tax” to hostile architecture to making cities more walkable. Design Museum Everywhere and Gensler Architecture consulted the students throughout the ideation and building process.

After dinner, the night concluded with stirring speeches. Innovators first gave a speech (with a walk-up song of their choosing), and then a staff member gave a speech about that student. There were some really funny, inspiring, and incredibly touching moments.

On the final speech of the night, Alan (one of our awesome Kitchen Services team members) gave Darshan a true send-off. He said that Darshan was one of the few students who spoke to him every day. This past year, Alan and Darshan bonded over their mutual love for the Boston Celtics. He then surprised Darshan with a memorable plaque and a Larry Bird jersey. The crowd went wild. As Ben said, summarizing the dinner, “This was a golden moment. I will never forget this night.”

 

Graduation – Friday
This is it. The first commencement of what will be many.

15 NEIA 12th graders had their names called, received their diplomas, and moved their tassels from the right side of their cap to the left—confirming their new status as NEIA graduates.

Jane Du, Co-founder & Trustee, said during her address: “Standing here today in the Space for NEIA’s first graduation, I can’t help but think of the driveway outside. The first NEIA admission event took place in the driveway because we were still renovating the building… over these last three years, one by one, passionate educators joined NEIA and made NEIA what we promised to students and parents.”

Hans-Peter Hansen, in the student address, “We are the vanguard 15, the founding class of New England Innovation Academy. We did not just build a school, we built a dream. I’m honored to say that we are passing the dream to the next generation of innovators.”

“Today, these trailblazing graduates pass the torch to the 11th graders,” Tom Woelper, Master of Ceremonies, said. ‘Next year’s seniors will guide the school into its next chapter and evolution. However, today belongs to the class of 2024.”

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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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