BEHIND THE TALK

Meet the incredible speakers and team members who are ready to take education to the next level. Here you will get to know the speaker as well as the talks given throughout this event.

MARRY THE PROBLEM... DATE THE SOLUTION

The true talent of entrepreneurship is finding the right problem, not building the right solution. However, most youth entrepreneurship is taught in the "Shark Tank style". Entrepreneurship is on the rise and is a necessity in our changing world. Watch how social entrepreneur Benjamin Pietrzyk learned from experience that to achieve real change, you must first marry the problem.

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BEN PIETRZYK

Director, Entrepreneur Mentoring at Uncommon Individual Foundation

As Director of Entrepreneur Mentoring at UIF, Pietrzyk has defined a value-added agile program with a scalability strategy that resulted in a top tier incubator program for startups and students in the greater Philadelphia region. He has developed and managed operations for 80+ ventures that allowed executives to mitigate risks and bridge knowledge information gaps. Throughout his work, he has conducted seminars and advised management teams on business development, technology strategy, forensic research and financial best practices resulting in ventures creating over 130 jobs, earning yields over $9 million in capital. In addition, he has developed and designed state of the art entrepreneurial curriculum that that worked with learners from Hopeworks, Franklin Institute, Hilltop Prep and William Tennent High School.


As a founder of ondawave, Pietrzyk has stablished and managed a cross-cultural organization that executes asset-based community development in rural Dominican Republic. Ondawave built out a community center and is working on building and operating a health clinic.


Education: University of Pennsylvania, Master’s of Science in Education, & La Salle University, Bachelors in Sociology and Criminal Justice 

WHEN WILL WE START TEACHING FREEDOM?

How can we leverage community and education to support young people in owning their future?

Unit we actively choose design for freedom, we will continue to perpetuate income inequality and racial inequality as the status quo.

In this talk, we'll explore our opportunity to reform educational practices through the lens of these three pillars:

  1. Representation

  2. Ownership

  3. Collectivism

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WILLIAM TOMS

Founder, Chief Creative Officer, REC Philly

William Tyrone Toms is a 29 year old award-winning entrepreneur from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

As the Co-Founder & Chief Creative Officer of REC Philly, Toms serves as the visionary + strategist behind the company's endeavors.

In under four short years, he and his business partner Dave Silver have grown REC to almost 20 employees and raised over $3M dollars to scale their socially-driven business model from a warehouse in North Philadelphia to a state-of-the-art facility in Center City.

MEET OUR TEAM

Learn more about the individuals who have made it their goal to make 2021 a pivotal change for education. 

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NEFERTERI STRICKLAND

Lead Organizer

Nef's personal philosophy is "If your dreams don't scare you, they're not big enough."