Alumni News: April 2023 Edition
Welcome to the April edition of Alumni News! Scroll below to check out our latest stories!
Beverly Newoj Johnson ‘17: From classrooms to island implementation
Beverly got her feet wet in environmental studies at UWCSEA, and chose Environmental Studies and Public Action as her major at Bennington College in Vermont. While in school, she interned with the Marshall Islands Environmental Protection Authority. After graduating from Bennington in 2021, she returned home to become Chief, Outreach and Public Education for the EPA. Last year, she was promoted to Deputy General Manager of the Authority.
I enjoy the hands-on environmental enforcement work and community education and action to raise environmental awareness here in the Marshall Islands.
Lee Seunghoon ‘10: Paper plane professional
We recently discovered that the joy of throwing paper planes can evolve to be a professional art form for many. Meet Lee Seunghoon '10, a science lecturer and national paper plane performer who won first prize in the Red Bull Paper Wings World Final – the official paper airplane world championships – in the aerobatics category last year.Check out the video here! After his winning performance, Lee proposed to his girlfriend – with a paper airplane, of course!
We hope to welcome Seunghoon to campus early next year for a demonstration and a sharing session with students. Stay tuned!
Wycliffe Omondi ‘13: BuuPass raises $1.3 million in pre-seed funding
The $1.3 million raised in a pre-seed round with several investors will go into scaling up the digital infrastructure for long-distance transport in Africa.
With this funding, we are excited to expand our footprint in Kenya and Uganda and are actively looking for opportunities to bring our platform to other African countries.
Our ultimate goal is to create a comprehensive, continent-wide network of interconnected transport options for the seamless movement of people. Thanks to our investors and supporters for helping us take this important step forward!
– Wycliffe, Co-founder of BuuPass
It's great to see the work of BuuPass continue with outstanding funding for East African public transportation and transportation technology!
Ahana Banerjee ‘17: Crystal clear on the UWC mission
Although it has been six years since Ahana graduated from East Campus, she continues to give back to the UWCSEA community be it through participating in Careers Week sessions or offering internships. We caught up with the founder of tech start-up recently to catch up on her latest updates and what’s in the pipeline.
Studying at UWCSEA significantly shaped my worldview and values; my experiences at UWC played a vital role in my entrepreneurial journey as the founder of Clear.
The UWC values, such as inclusivity, transparency, and mutual respect, are reflected in my work by creating a platform that empowers people of all cultures and skin types to feel empowered, educated and connected on their skincare journey.
Clear's commitment to the UWC community is reflected in our efforts to offer internships to UWC students, with over 30 internship positions offered to UWCSEA students every year. Clear's longest-serving employee is a fellow UWCSEA alumna who I met during our Culturama dance in 2016, and through my work as a founder, I have met and collaborated with many other UWC alumni (founders and investors). With all the UWC students, alumni and teachers I’ve worked with, I find that they are always mission-driven and making a difference in their respective communities.
Most recently, I have been working with the UWCSEA Alumni team to kickstart the UK chapter and build a career mentoring network leveraging the UWCSEA alumni community. To further support our growth and continue to build our community, Clear has just opened an angel funding round, now seeking to raise $100k. As a UWC alumna and an entrepreneur, I believe that embracing diversity, acting with integrity, and being committed to making a positive impact are essential values that should be applied in all aspects of life, including business, and we’d love for those in the UWC community to be a part of this journey with us building Clear.
In addition to these achievements, since launching less than two years ago, Clear has raised close to $1M in VC funding from top Silicon Valley investors including Y Combinator, won the L’Oréal Beauty Tech for Good Challenge, and has been featured under “Best New Apps” on the US App Store. Just this month, I was also recognised in Forbes 30 Under 30!
We’d love to hear more exciting updates from you! Simply send us a summary between 100-150 words and an accompanying image (at least 1mb) related to your update via email!