One Bead, a nonprofit founded by Sara Wroblewski ’13 that provides young students with mentorship, education and access to new opportunities through leadership programming, is hosting events in Boston and New York City featuring Kenyan glassblower and entrepreneur Anselm Croze. The events culminate on Thursday, April 27 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. with an evening of inspiration hosted by the tech company Infor at its New York City headquarters.
Croze will share his own story of entering a niche market and building a successful recycled glass blowing studio at the age of 22, in addition to his role as a friend and mentor to Wroblewski. A donation of any amount is required for admission for the NYC One Bead debut.
“Every child deserves a person who believes in his or her ability to go to college, pursue a future career and change the world for better,” says Wroblewski. “For me, that person is Anselm. He changed not only the way I look at the world around me, but the way I think of myself as a leader.”
In 2011, Wroblewski and Croze collaborated on a small fundraising project supporting Croze’s local community. The hands-on, service-based learning allowed Wroblewski to realize her leadership qualities and potential. The organization started with one bead and one opportunity to make a difference in Kenya. Now, that bead is a symbol of inspiration and a catalyst for change in communities around the globe.
In preparation for the New York City event, Wroblewski met with the CEO of Infor, Charles Phillips and spent several days working with Infor’s digital platform, Hook & Loop. Infor is hosting the event to ensure that all profits made at the event are applied toward One Bead’s work.
One Bead, which was founded by Wroblewski as an HWS junior, has grown over the past four years. Upon graduating, Wroblewski partnered with Caroline Dosky ’12, MAT ’13 who had recognized a need for outreach programs beginning in early childhood. Both living in Boston, the two graduates collaborated on a leadership curriculum designed to cultivate young leaders at the elementary level and instill a culture of giving back to one’s community. The 20-hour youth leadership program shares the business model and inherent leadership qualities of One Bead with young students. One Bead is currently running four leadership programs in Boston and one in Syracuse.
One Bead has also launched an academic scholarship program, which awarded its first five scholarships, each for $500, in 2016. In 2017, the organization will award three $1,500 scholarships to students worldwide.
Wroblewski, who won the inaugural entrepreneurial Stu Lieblein ’90 Pitch Contest with One Bead, serves as CEO for One Bead, which is based in Boston. Maureen Collins Zupan ’72, P’09, L.H.D. ’16, the former Chair of the HWS Board of Trustees, was recently made temporary Chair of the One Bead Board of Directors and One Bead’s first full-time hire will start in Boston this July.
Wroblewski recently finished filming a documentary and promotional video, filmed in Kenya and Boston, to help One Bead’s message and goals reach an even greater audience. The promotional video will be debuted at both the events in Boston and NYC.