“We’ve always dreamed of this school as a place that could produce entrepreneurs who solve problems with a purpose.” McClellan’s initial startup tugged at his heart to solve a problem that technology had overlooked. Similarly, VC DECA’s “Project Aquila” members were stirred to launch a purpose-driven project. “We really wanted to emphasize building community,” says senior Isabella Levkovic. “We thought to ourselves: what brings people together more than food?” To that end, the team — comprised of Levkovic, as well as seniors Vaishali Nair and Kaitlyn Ould —partnered with the Coup De Thai restaurant in Los Gatos to offer Thai cooking classes over Zoom as part of a fundraising initiative for the Immigration Institute of the Bay Area (IIBA). The team has been working with IIBA to build a distance-learning infrastructure for the organization’s English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) citizenship classes.
Nair explains. “Immigration has become near and dear to all our hearts as we have grown up in Silicon Valley and have been exposed to the many backgrounds, cultures, and struggles of people close to us.” “We pray that we always remain servicecentered,” Ould adds, “and always put people and social progress over any personal success.” Clearly, these amazing movers and shakers are proving to be entrepreneurs with strong integrity.
“Both Isabella and I are first-generation and have seen the immigration process firsthand,”
BEI President’s Business Challenge, 2021