Meet the Speakers

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MCKENNA REITZ

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Having a Bad Hair Day

McKenna Reitz is an inspirational speaker and a Challenge Coach who works with men and women to reframe life’s challenges into gifts and opportunities so they can pursue their purpose with clarity and confidence. After losing all her hair due to Alopecia, McKenna uses her journey of having this autoimmune disease to help others overcome the loss in their life by resetting the mindset of their “loss” into growth and opportunities in their lives

SAZ ROSS

  • Instagram

Get Lost: A Guide to Accessing Creativity

Saz has spent 10 years in the field of art education. The love of art education led her to facilitating professional development workshops for the Maryland State Department of Education as one of the youngest Roster Artists ever hired while working as an Educational Director of an art education non-profit called Leaders of Tomorrow Youth Center. Saz is a young creative leader and she believes it is time for young professionals to view themselves as the same in order to make positive changes in our world.

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LAKSHMI SHYAMAKRISHNAN

  • Instagram

Accessing the Exclusive

Lakshmi Shyamakrishnan is an MS candidate in Marketing Analytics at the University of Maryland. As a member of three underrepresented demographic groups in the business world - as a disabled woman of color - she is a passionate advocate for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and has spearheaded research into accessibility and inclusion initiatives in her community. With her degree, she plans to pursue a career in People Analytics in the Human Resources field to increase diversity overall in the corporate world.

VIVEK PANDIT

  • Instagram

The Hidden Movement of Gen Z

Vivek Pandit is a gradutae of Brown University and author of We Are Generation Z: How Identity, Attitudes, and Perspectives Are Shaping Our Future. Currently, he is working at a startup studio co-founding a company that provides financial coaching as a service to overwhelmed Americans. During his free time, he run We Are Gen Z, hosts the podcast 501 Hustle, through which he collaborates with passionate Gen Z activists from around the world.  

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ALE D'AGOSTINO

  • Instagram

Where are You Really From?

Ale D’agostino is currently a third-year at the George Washington University, double majoring in Criminal Justice and Political Science. Having the desire to run for public office, Ale aspires to increase the representation of minority women, through not only elected representatives, but also within Congressional staff members. She currently serves as  co-founder and Vice President of the Leading Women of Tomorrow George Washington University Chapter. 

PRANAVI PRATAPA

  • Instagram

Bias in Tech Algorithms

Pranavi Pratapa is an 18 year old freshman majoring in mathematics and computer science at the University of Michigan- Ann Arbor. Within my school, I’m involved with LSA Student Government and Sahana, an Indian classical arts organization. In my free time, I love to sing, paint, and hike. Pranavi is passionate about educating and taking action on the prevalence of bias in current tech algorithms. 

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KD HURLBUTT

Gen Z's Mental Health is a Climate Priority- Here's Why

KD pulls from her experience as a Stanford environmental engineer, sustainability manager for a Fortune 500 company, and a burnout prevention consultant and coach for Salesforce, Kaiser Permanente, and Silicon Valley startups. She creatively weaves accessible science, relatable stories, and practical tools into fun frameworks that shift the way people experience stress and sustainability. She's committed to building an economic ecosystem that's inclusive, just, and equitable for all. 

JACOB WITTENBERG 

  • Instagram

How We Gain Control by Giving It Away

Jacob Wittenberg is the founder of FRNDLY, host of Groundbreaking, and a content creator and musician.
As a recent Boston University graduate with a degree in Public Relations and minor in Business
Administration, Jacob pursues his mission to empower young creatives and their initiatives through
FRNDLY, a media group acting as a launching pad for young creators through consultation, design, and strategic development, and Groundbreaking, a podcast highlighting the projects of today's young innovators. 

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