Social Entrepreneurship with TCS’s First-Ever Eighth Grade Class

The inaugural class of TCS eighth graders completed the first-ever TCS social entrepreneurship program in 2018-19, creating a set of sustainable businesses, while developing a strong entrepreneurial mindset and learning how to embrace courage over comfort along the way.

Under the guidance of Regan Durkin, former TCS middle grades teacher, the capstone class culminated with a TCS Pitch Day where a panel of entrepreneurs from Oxwork Business Club and program mentors gave feedback and support to the students who pitched them their business ideas.

TCS student artists, bakers, investors, authors, makers, and programmers became social entrepreneurs as they developed and launched their dreams to help make the world a better place.

“Imagine riding down the streets of Atlanta or showing off your tricks at a skatepark with custom art. I create and sell stencils to spray paint many different designs on skating gear. My vision is for Atlanta to be filled with moving artwork,” said TCS graduate, social entrepreneur and artist, Nicholas Ionnides.

 “Do you know young people who spend most of their time doing mindless activities? Well, my product is perfect for helping children and adolescents read more. Let me introduce you to Vead. Vead merges reading and video to capture kids’ attention. Imagine you are reading a picture book and when you turn the next page there would be a picture. On Vead, instead of there being a picture, there would be a short video,” said TCS graduate, social entrepreneur and author, Alex Lewis.

“It’s fairly easy to have an opinion about social issues and all the problems in our world, but to have eighth graders who feel like they can ask the right questions, have a conversation with a CEO, identify problems and propose solutions… that’s unheard of in a middle school,” said Regan. “TCS students are going to be way ahead of their generation as far as being the leaders in solving social issues.”

 “Our children care about the world; if we believe that innovation is the means and equity is the end goal, then entrepreneurship gives us the skills and vision to build a better future for everyone,” said Nishant. 

Regan shared, “As they grow, mature, and evolve beyond TCS and throughout their high school, college, and adult lives, these three years of becoming social entrepreneurs will set our students apart from their peers, rising up as the leaders who will create a better, more equitable future for us, themselves, and those who come after them.”