Ladderworks is a publishing platform of diverse picture books and online curriculum with the mission to empower over a million kids to become social entrepreneurs. Our current series features interviews by our interplanetary journalist Spiffy with inspiring Social Entrepreneurs and Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Builders, who are advancing the UN SDGs.
Hey, friends! It's Spiffy, back again on Planet Earth with an eye on entrepreneurs making the world a more equitable place! I have a great interview for you this week. Today, I’m excited to cruise around with Javier Correa, the founder and CEO of Beacon. Are you ready to be inspired?
Spiffy: Thanks for joining me today, Javier! Tell me, what challenge are you addressing through your startup?
Javier: Glad to be with you, Spiffy! We're looking to address loneliness among adults across the country. Since the pandemic, young adults have experienced loneliness at worse levels due to the change in our society's work style from in-person to remote. As young adults enter the real world, they're losing out on their largest social network after graduating which is their coworkers.
Spiffy: What motivated you to tackle this challenge?
Javier: As someone who graduated during the pandemic, I was a part of the first year of graduates to move into a new city and experience this severe loneliness. It was one of the toughest moments of my life, and I'm on a journey to keep others from experiencing it.
Spiffy: How are you and your organization working towards a more equitable world?
Javier: We're creating a platform that we envision will allow anyone to move to the city of their dreams without the fear of experiencing loneliness.
Spiffy: Nice! Tell me about a recent organizational milestone. What impact does that make on your audience?
Javier: Recently, we launched on the University of California Santa Cruz's campus, which has given us the space to connect and unite their student body. As we learn the successful frameworks on how to create meaningful human connection in the college setting, where 98 million Americans have reported making their closest friends, we'll build an impactful product to bring to the real world.
Spiffy: Please share an experience when you faced failure and didn't give up. What did you learn from it?
Javier: Over the summer, we threw an event that had over 500 RSVPs and was projected to be a blast for the Fourth of July weekend. When the time came around for the event, fewer than 150 people came. We learned that even if things look promising, we need to continue to work hard to execute on our goals and not let our egos get in the way of finalizing event details.
Spiffy: Thanks for speaking with me today, Javier—it’s been an honor!
Javier Correa is a Cornell alum and the founder and CEO of Beacon. Beacon is re-imagining campus engagement by better supporting student communities in fostering a more inclusive university experience. Previously, he worked at Visible Hands VC, where he helped build the firm from conception to five accelerators. (First published on the Ladderworks website on December 13, 2022.)
© 2022 Ladderworks LLC. Edited by George Romar. Spiffy’s illustration by Shreyas Navare. For the Ladderworks digital curriculum to help K-3 kids advance the UN SDGs, visit Spiffy's Launchpad: Creative Entrepreneurship Workshops for K-3 Kids and their caregivers here.