Sponsr.Us Ignite 5 @ Harvard

Our premier free student-run conference for student innovators and dreamers.

Harvard Ed Portal

January 28th 2017 @ 10 a.m.

#SponsrUsIgnite on and

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Sponsr.Us Ignite, our flagship conference for high school students, returns once again to Harvard University—this is Sponsr.Us Ignite 5.

At Sponsr.Us, we believe that all students—through their passion and their ideas—have the potential to make positive impact. Through launching clubs, community service projects, and non-profits, students can leverage change in areas that they are passionate about. We want to help catalyze that process—Sponsr.Us Ignite is one way we're doing exactly that.

Sponsr.Us Ignite equips students with tools to become community leaders. We'll be teaching a wide range of skills and mindsets, including pitching your ideas and developing marketing strategies. While it's only a one-day event, we hope that this will open new doors to explore.

We want to build a community of student leaders. Throughout the day, you'll get a chance to interact with like-minded students—perhaps even find people to collaborate with on a future initiative. We've built time into the schedule so that you can get to know one other. Additionally, for the first time ever, we'll be presenting Sponsr.Us Community Impact Awards and giving student leaders an opportunity to present how they've made an impact. Learn more below

Sounds like something you'd enjoy? Save the date and register!


Brad Matthiesen is an entrepreneur and data scientist with a passion for making sense of the emerging world of data. He is the founder and CEO of ClassForward, an edtech startup offering a video platform focused on teacher coaching, and the co-founder of Kerrage, a software consulting firm creating software solutions for point-of-sale customer loyalty systems. Previously, he worked as a data scientist and consultant in the field of litigation support. Brad has a degree in Chemistry and Physics from Harvard and a masters in Computer Science from the University of Chicago.

Student Leaders Showcase

During Sponsr.Us Ignite 5, we'll be showcasing student leaders who've led substantial in their community, whether that's leading a club or community service initiative, running an impactful event, starting a new initiative, or raising awareness about something that they've found important. They'll be sharing their experiences with others, offering their insights into how students can lead change.

Top student leaders will be the inaugural recipients of the Sponsr.Us 2017 Community Impact Awards, a symbol of their achievement and receive recognition for their contributions to their community. Read about some of our student presenters below!

Fiona Phie

I am a Boston resident and a senior at Boston Latin Academy. I am the co-founder of YouthWOKE the race relations program hosted the BPS headquarters. I am also the East Boston representative on the Mayor's Youth Council. I participate in many extracurricular activities at Boston Latin Academy. I am the president of the Model UN club, a board member of the coalition against student apathy (CASA), the secretary of feminist club and the head of finance for the multicultural planning board.

Emnet Sisay

I’m a junior at Boston Latin School. I am the president and founder of a student run club at BLS, called Stop TB Youth Initiative. We work with a local nonprofit to raise money and awareness to fight Tuberculosis, in developing countries. Also, I am the co-founder of YouthWOKE (Working On Knowledge and Equality), which is a student organization focused on combating race relations in our communities. I am also involved in several other extracurricular activities, such as Model United Nations, and a regular volunteer at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Lexie Phipps

I'm Lexie Phipps, an 18 year old senior at Hopkinton High School! I co-founded MOVE four years ago, a program designed to empower young females to become active and aware community leaders through workshops discussing self confidence, media, mental health, self-identity, and more. In addition to presenting MOVE workshops across MA for girls ranging from grades 6-12, I have co-directed two annual 5-day long MOVE summer programs with 60+ attendees.

Eric Zhang

Eric Zhang is a current junior at Newton North High School where he focuses on general studies as well as a secondary concentration in greengineering. Aside from his academics, Eric channels his passion for business into Future Business Leaders of America(FBLA), a club where he has been a 4-year member. He's held the positions of Vice-President, Secretary, and State Councilman.

Eric's leadership ability and ambitious attitude extend even further. He utilized those attributes to co-found a community service club, Students in Service, at his high school with his friend Maya Mathews. Fueled by his desire to give back to others and a need for such a club at Newton North, he hopes to enrich his surrounding community through Students in Service.

Outside of school, Eric enjoys gaining valuable experience as a Marketing Intern for HSA Tutoring and GroupGear. Both of these businesses are under the Harvard Students Agencies(HSA) family, the largest student-run corporation in the world! He also is a moderator at CareerVillage.org where he filters through all the content that comes through the website. CareerVillage is essentially an online guidance counselor where students can ask career or school related questions and get them answered by professionals in the related fields.

Maya Mathews

Maya Mathews is a 16-year-old sophomore at Newton North High School. She is a three-term class president and holds the title of School Committee Representative on the Newton Public School Board. Maya’s most recent project is her collaboration with her good friend, Eric Zhang. Together, they are creating Students in Service, a community service based organization that will bring the spirit of giving to Newton North. Before all this began, Maya lived for 15 years in Arlington, TX. She went to a small private school where she loved English, and musical theater. It was in those classes where Maya developed her passion for leadership. When she’s not focused on her academics, Maya engages in volleyball, tennis, filmmaking, and thrives off continuously developing herself and her community.

Jack Lovett

I’m currently in my third-year at Northeastern University. Before college, I attended Newton South High School in Newton, MA, where I served as the school's only two-term student senate president, as well as a co-captain of the mock trial team. Since high school, I've participated in a number of internships, as well as co-ops through Northeastern's cooperative education program. I've had the opportunity to work in the Newton Mayor's Office, the Massachusetts Governor's Office, the Executive Office of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, and the Massachusetts Inspector General's Office. I currently work at ADS Ventures, a government consulting firm located in Boston. At Northeastern, I've also served as president of my residence hall, as a resident assistant (RA), and as the Vice-President of Recognition for Northeastern's National Residence Hall Honorary, a national organization of top student leaders who value recognition and service. I'm currently in the process of helping start a new organization at Northeastern for biracial and mixed students.

Patrick Huie

I'm Patrick Huie, a senior at the Advanced Math and Science Academy Charter School. I'm passionate about building and technology, and I'm also thrilled to shape the youth hacking movement through MetroHacks. My vision as the Director of MetroHacks II is to bring hackers and hustlers from across the country to a 24-hour event filled with creativity and problem-solving. My team and I at MetroHacks aim to catapult students of all backgrounds from a classroom education to the reality of the startup industry. Outside of MetroHacks, I love teaching, and I'm an Instructor at the KTByte Computer Science Academy, as well as Captain of my high school's programming team. I'm mainly interested in technology, but I also direct a non-profit STEM enrichment program to bridge the gap between underprivileged minority students and science.

Eleanor Scimone

I am Eleanor Scimone and I am a senior at Bishop Fenwick High School in Peabody, Massachusetts. A few months ago, I launched a nonprofit called Happy Healthy Humanity which works to better the lives of children residing long term in local hospitals by donating different forms of entertainment and handmade cards. So far we have donated to Mass General for Children in Salem, Massachusetts and the Neurology Ward waiting room at Boston Children’s Hospital. The support my partner, Chris Puglisi, and I have received so far has been amazing. We hope to continue to donate to many more hospitals while augmenting our impact by speaking to children in local schools about helping others.

Travis Davis

My name is Travis Davis and I am a senior at Lynn English High School. I have always been taught by my Dad what it means to be a leader in life. Always standing by my principles and being self aware. I’m an active participant in my school's Latin club, GSA, as well as the Music and Arts program. I am the president of the Lynn All-City High School Band. My team and I work diligently on enhancing the band's musicianship and confidence level in hopes that after high school our local musicians can confidently pursue their goals and achievements. As the President of the band I make it my job description on helping my fellow musicians whether it is boosting their minds or the little things like making sure that they are on time for rehearsals. All and more I take under my belt as the leader to ensure that the time the band spends rehearsing for the local concerts are well timed and efficient.I as a leader do not believe in limitations. Anything and everything you set your mind on could be accomplished as long as you are willing to put in the work. When opportunity knocked on my door I seized it. My first job I received last year as a Junior in high school with was working at my Lynn City Hall Veterans office. Working for city hall allowed me to be intuitive to those who have fought for our freedom. As a leader I am also an active student Early College Program at North Shore Community College, which has allowed me to learn from my city's top professors. By being active not just in school, but outside my school walls allows for me to grow not just for my sake, but in return to teach others what I learned.

Christina Yee

I’m a senior at Boston Latin School (and finally old enough to vote!). I currently serve on the executive board of several school clubs, and I am the acting president of the BLS Student Council, co-president of the Jubilee Project (a film club), and co-president the BLS Junior Classical League. For me, being able to stay in touch with my Chinese/Thai heritage is a must, and so I also participate in the Cantonese Culture Club, of which I am the acting treasurer. This past summer, I was a John William Ward Fellow, which allowed me to intern with Attorney General Maura Healey and learn the ins and outs of local and state government, and this experience has definitely affirmed my interest in public service. In my spare time I enjoy singing, writing, drawing, editing videos, and sharing funny jokes. In the future, I hope to one day be a U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, or a freelance filmmaker, or both!

Justin Fenton

I am Justin Fenton and I am a junior at Kipp Academy Lynn Collegiate. I am a volunteer at the Global Embassy of Activists for Peace which is a non-profit global organization where we promote the rights of mother earth and the rights of individuals. We do through an array of forums such our monthly to bi-monthly Holocaust forums where in some cases real life Holocaust survivors share their message in order to teach people that an issue as large as genocide can start from a simple negative word or idea that spreads from person to person. Also, I do extracurricular activities such as going to church at Zion Baptist in Lynn where I am apart of the youth choir, youth dance ministry, and a future candidate for Youth President. These are the pieces of my life that I enjoy the most where I can minister to the congregation and inform others of the past in order to change the future.


Last year, participants rated 4.6/5 in agreement with "I'm walking away today with an experience I feel I want to share with my friends." Below are just a few comments we've heard over the years...

"You did an amazing job setting this up, it was easily the most helpful + beneficial days of the year. I cannot emphasize enough how much fun I had!"

"I never thought that there was going to be such a variety in students. Some from Massachusetts, Russia, Serbia, Sudan, Africa. It was amazing!"

"I really appreciated this opportunity. I loved the different workshops and the food!"

"The speakers were great!"

"The day was really fun and engaging. It was really well organized."


Who can attend Sponsr.Us Ignite 5?

Sponsr.Us Ignite 5 is targeted to high school students, though we allow younger students to attend as well. Unfortunately, we are unable to accomodate parents into our event. 

What are my transport/parking options getting to the event?

It is recommended that you get dropped off or that you take public transportation. There is limited street parking near the venue.

The venue is located near the route 88 and 86 bus stops at North Harvard St./Western Ave. Additionally route 70 and 70A have stops within a 5-minute walk from the location and the Harvard Square Red Line stop is about a 20-minute walk away.


Where can I contact the organizer with any questions?

Get in touch with us at ignite [at] sponsr.us


Is my registration/ticket transferrable?

No. The name on the ticket must match the participant.


Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?

Nope! We'll have your info on our end. So just show up! 


We make this event possible through the generous support of our community partners who have donated their time, space, funding, and food to support our efforts.