Optima CEO Mentors SDSU Lavin Entrepreneurs at Seed Fund Dinner
A single person, conversation, or experience can make a difference in someone's life. We can all think back to a time when a certain event had a lasting impact on us. That is exactly what San Diego State University aims to provide with their Lavin Entrepreneurship Student and mentor program.
Optima CEO and founder, Jennifer Barnes, is closely associated with the SDSU entrepreneurial community. She has been serving as a judge on panels for numerous competitive events, as well as a Lavin mentor for the past three years.
This March, she was invited by Lavin Director, Alex DeNoble, to one of the program's seed dinners. These dinners are funded by the Lavin entrepreneurship program's seed fund, specifically designed for special dinners with student entrepreneurs and successful San Diego professionals. The purpose of these dinners is for the students to gain first-hand knowledge by participating in in-depth discussions with the chosen entrepreneur, about everything from business and entrepreneurship to life's struggles and triumphs.
Jenn was asked to meet a group of ten Lavin entrepreneurship students at the Red O restaurant. At the start of the salad, each student entrepreneur went around the table introducing themselves, their current position and their life’s goals and dreams. As the dinner progressed, the group began to get to know one another on a more meaningful level. With Jenn sharing her own personal stories of success, struggles, and perseverance, the students listened intently – breaking in to ask questions along the way. By the end of dessert, the discussion had brought many laughs, lessons, and feelings of inspiration and courage to both sides; a splendid conclusion to a memorable night.
We all have the power to make a difference for someone each day – whether that be a sincere word, small gift, or sharing of your own experiences in order to connect. It’s important we continue to learn from one another.
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