The company HomeWorks, part of the 2017 eLab Summer Accelerator Program, is an after-school boarding program in Trenton, N.J. Last summer, the organization ran a pilot program in which five eighth-grade girls attending summer school lived together in a house Monday through Friday for four weeks. They received mentorship and academic support, learned about financial literacy and female empowerment, and did community service.
Giving back “I’ve always had a dream of starting my own boarding school. I know that I was really privileged growing up — I had the opportunity to go to the best schools and grew up in a really safe home environment. I feel a sense of responsibility, that I should be using [what I’ve been given] to give back.”
Next steps Tung hopes to expand the program to 10 freshman girls in Trenton for the 2018–19 school year. Her goal is to raise about $300,000 this year to launch the program full time after graduation. Learn more at homeworkstrenton.org.
The mission Solstice, which received funding from the Alumni Entrepreneurs Fund, works to make it easier and more affordable for people to power their homes with solar energy by connecting them to a shared solar farm. “Solar is currently the cheapest it has been in the history of the world, and people could save money if they could just access it,” Speirs said.
Why solar is important “The way we get electricity hasn’t changed in over 100 years, but it will change in our lifetime. And we have a role to play in making sure that the clean-energy transition happens as quickly as possible and as equitably as possible.”
On building a team “There’s an overemphasis on the founders sometimes in these startup stories. The first, second, third employees are just as important as the founders.” Learn more at solstice.us. Edited and condensed by A.W.