An innovative, hands-on entrepreneurial program for high-school students that originated at UC San Diego Extension was recently featured in UT San Diego.
WIT founder and director Sarah Hernholm, second from left, with recent Francis Parker School graduates Elisa Greenberg, left, Sophie Woods and Christina Clark. UT San Diego photo: Nancee E. Lewis
The front-page story, published Monday, June 2, profiled “WIT” -- short for “Whatever It Takes,” a nonprofit that trains 9th through 12th-grade high-school students in basic leadership and entrepreneurial skills.
The students are then directed to create community-service projects that have a worthy cause.
Sarah Hernholm, who created WIT, credits UC San Diego Extension’s K-12 program director, Ed Abeyta, for giving her the go-ahead to get the four-year-old program started. (View Hernholm's TEDx talk, given Feb. 21, 2014, on "Authentic Self Expression").
“When I first outlined our goals, Ed really liked the concept of offering college credit to high-school students,” said Hernholm in a recent interview. “He decided to take a chance on me and he’s been a great supporter ever since. If not for that support, WIT wouldn’t be where we are today.”
As part of the program, students receive pre-entrance credits at UC San Diego.
“Our partnership definitely gives what we do added value,” added Hernholm.
Currently, 120 students are participating in the program locally. Hernholm plans to expand WIT to other San Diego County schools, with ambitions to go nationwide. WIT programs are scheduled to debut in San Francisco and St. Louis for the upcoming school year.
On Monday, June 9, 6-8 pm, WIT will host a showcase event at the downtown Central Library in which nine groups of students will present their projects.