In 2012, Sara Wroblewski ’13 created a company called One Bead, a nonprofit organization established to raise money for education in East Africa through the sale of recycled glass beads. Given the success of her first entrepreneurial adventure, Wroblewski has teamed up with Caroline Dosky ’12, MAT ’13 to expand the initiative by developing the One Life Leadership program, a curriculum designed to teach and reinforce the skills required to be both a leader and a team player. Their goal is simple: challenge young students to become active leaders within the classroom, in their daily lives and in their future endeavors.
“In order for students to have the creativity, adaptability, and perseverance to solve the complex problems that our world will be confronted with in the upcoming century, students are going to need more than what the standardized tests evaluate and deem important,” says Dosky, who graduated from William Smith with a B.A. in psychology and dance and a minor in child advocacy.
The program features an after-school setting in which students will have the opportunity to develop and apply important leadership skills. With the program still in its design stages, Wroblewski and Dosky are on a mission to raise enough capital to get the pilot underway and begin implementing it in school systems as soon as possible.
Reflecting on her time at the Colleges, Dosky credits the Centennial Center for Leadership and the education department for inspiring her to make a difference.
“This project is the perfect blend of these two passions,” she says. “By combining leadership development and elementary education, this innovative program will allow students to challenge themselves when making decisions, working with others, setting a vision and reaching their goals.
The inspiration for the initiative came when Dosky asked Wroblewski to speak at the concluding session of a leadership program Dosky had designed as part of her MAT program at the colleges.
“It was then that I began to realize the value of the skills I had acquired over the past two years since I had established One Bead,” says Wroblewski, who graduated from William Smith with a B.A. in media and society and a minor in economics. “One Bead was changing lives in tangible ways, however, I became aware of the potential One Bead had to inspire and cultivate a new generation of students through a leadership program.”