Technology for Underprivileged Students Foundation
University of Virginia, McIntire School of Commerce
Founding Student Name(s): Marc-Anthony Larco
Brief Description of Solution: Technology for Underprivileged Students (or TUS) foundation was created with the goal of providing educational resources for impoverished students in Haiti. We thought the best way to accomplish this goal would be to build computer labs in already existing Haitian schools.
What led you to launch this venture? I’m originally from Haiti and go visit regularly. I often found myself saying things like “I wish someone would do something about this” when observing the degree of struggle the majority of Haitians live through. I remembered a conversation I had with my grandfather where he told me about the importance of integrity; if I was going to say something in life, he hold me, I better mean what I say. So I decided to take action instead of simply speaking about what was needed.
What has been your biggest accomplishment so far with venture? I was invited to Geneva, Switzerland to join the Youth Forum and speak to members of the United Nations about the work I had done. This came after the completion of our first project with the Le Bon Berger school in Montrouis, Haiti.
How has your business-related major helped you further this startup venture? As a third year and new member of the McIntire community, I would say courses I took on topics that I was genuinely passionate about (outside of prerequisites) helped to further my organization. For example, Professor Andreas Addison’s course on social entrepreneurship and ENTP 1010 has actually helped me identify better methods of accomplishing my core goals within Haiti’s educational system.
Which business class has been most valuable in building your startup and what was the biggest lesson you gained from it? Funny enough, a batten class I took last semester about social entrepreneurship with Professor Addison has been the most beneficial towards the continuation of my organization.
What business professor made a significant contribution to your plans and why? Professor Andeas Addison and Chip Ransler with Bevin Etienne (ENTP 1010)
What is your long-term goal with your startup? I want to shift our current strategy towards getting underprivileged students sustainable employment.
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