The Future Project: How Two Young Social Entrepreneurs Are Trying To Close The Inspiration Gap In Schools

04/15/15 |
Huffington Post |
Jaweed Kaleem

When Andrew Mangino talks about the startup he co-founded, one that’s been hailed by boldface names ranging from spiritual guru Deepak Chopra to Special Olympics chairman Tim Shriver, he doesn’t describe any complex technology or app. He speaks in the same excited cadences of any Silicon Valley innovator, but his idea is about as low-tech as it gets. When he’s asked about how it all got started, he inevitably mentions three things: an internship, the ability to dream and a Bangladeshi-American high school student.

It was in the fall of 2009, just a few months after he graduated with a degree in politics from Yale, that Mangino signed up to be a mentor through his internship as a speechwriter in the office of Vice President Joe Biden. Organizers paired him with Saidur Sarkur, a junior at Woodrow Wilson High School in Washington, D.C., who needed help applying to colleges.