January 9, 2017

6 CivicX Alumni named Forbes 30 under 30!

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For the past 5 years, Forbes Magazine has kicked off the New Year by convening a select group of inspiring young leaders creating significant impact in their industry and awarding them with the designation of “30 under 30.”  This year, we are very proud to share that 6 Civic Accelerator alumni were named Forbes 30 under 30 in the categories of Education, Media, and Social Entrepreneurs. Please help us congratulate them on this incredible accomplishment!

Click here to share your congratulations!


Rhonesha 320x486Rhonesha Byng – Media

Founder, Her Agenda (CivicX Spring 2015)
Byng is founder and CEO of Her Agenda, a digital media platform for millennial women. Byng won an Emmy award as part of a team breaking news coverage while she was a field producer with NBC New York, and has also received awards from the Associated Press and other organizations.

Blair 320x486Blair Brettschneider – Education
Founder, Girl Forward (CivicX Spring 2015)
Soon after starting a position at a refugee resettlement agency in Chicago in 2010, Blair began tutoring a teen refugee girl whose challenges and determination inspired what would become GirlForward. The 5-year-old nonprofit has provided 200 refugee girls mentorship, education and leadership opportunities. Brettschneider was selected by the Department of State as one of two youth delegates to represent the U.S. at the UNESCO Youth Forum in Paris in 2011.

Rya 320x486
Ryan Hoch – Education
Cofounder, Overgrad (CivicX Fall 2016)
Hoch is a former TFA math teacher who cofounded this college readiness platform in 2013 with fellow UIUC engineering alum Kevin Hoffman. Overgrad’s free software enables students to research schools and track their grades and standardized tests through a personal dashboard. What differentiates it from platforms like Naviance is that it was developed for freshmen and sophomores, schools that don’t have the budget for fee-based providers and students seeking education options outside 4-year universities.

Daquan 320x486Daquan Oliver – Social Entrepreneurs
Founder, WeThrive (CivicX Fall 2016)

Founded in 2014, WeThrive pairs middle-school students living in low-income communities with college students for a year long after-school entrepreneurship program. Middle school students work to create their own business and the college students mentor them as they go from idea to generating revenue, teaching skills like public speaking and personal finance along the way. All profits made from their ventures get donated to a local charity.

Evin Jessica 320x486Evin Robinson and Jessica Santana – Education
Cofounders, New York on Tech (CivicX Spring 2016)

The underside of the NYC public school system is that just 1% of its 1.1 million students receive computing and infosys education. One bright light is NYOT, whose goal is to create pathways for underrepresented students to thrive in technology and innovation. It offers immersive programs for high schoolers (including mentorship and internship opportunities), after school programs and alumni support.
Congratulations to our Alumni!  Interested in being a part of CivicX? Applications for the Spring 2017 Civic Accelerator are now open through March 2.  Learn more and apply here.

*Source: http://www.forbes.com/30-under-30-2017/
Megan Christenson
Megan is the Director of the Civic Accelerator at Points of Light. In this role she is responsible for the day-to-day management of the Civic Accelerator, including venture recruitment, program and curriculum development, portfolio monitoring and evaluation, direct investments, and developing
strategic program and philanthropic partnerships.