Innovation in the South Bronx: Riverdale and MetaBronx
Miguel Sanchez and Philip M Shearer, Co-founders of MetaBronx, met Dominic A Randolph, the Head of School at Riverdale Country School, for the first time on May 17th, 2018.
The connection with Riverdale Country School started through Elias Gabriel, who at the time was in a gap year after graduating from Riverdale in 2017.
Even though Riverdale is a neighborhood of The Bronx, there is an enormous difference in affluence between Riverdale and the rest of The Bronx, so much so that south Bronxites frequently forget that Riverdale exists altogether.
And even when there is collaboration between these rich and poor communities, most of the time the relationship is anchored in the century-old concept of the 'charity economy,' in which wealthy people are expected to "help" low-income people achieve a better life.
MetaBronx was founded on the simple idea that low-income demographic groups don't need charity as much as they need access to the resources necessary to develop their own genius, a process which in itself leads to economic development from within the community.
It isn't often that we meet people who agree with this view, but as it happens, Dominic had been thinking about this challenge throughout his storied career, being decidedly iconoclastic himself.
Such an esoteric mix of experiences, backgrounds, and geographic specificities could only have one outcome: community-driven innovation.
In June 2018, Riverdale Country School became the first private institutional sponsor of the MetaBronx startup accelerator and entrepreneurship education program.
Riverdale having an in-house media production team, Lila Locksley, Director of Communications, decided to produce this video about the collaboration between Riverdale and MetaBronx over the summer months of 2018.
Student entrepreneurs from Riverdale worked with student apprentices from the Bronx Academy for Software Engineering (BASE), a district school from the Belmont neighborhood in the south Bronx.
All these youth in turn worked with tech startups from the MetaBronx Class of 2019 cohort, learning how to build a tech startup as a 21st century entrepreneur.
The video you either already watched, or are about to see, tells the story of these fundamentally innovative collaborations.
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