social capital noun. the value of our social networks & relationships

Meet the Team: Arts and Culture Committee

Published by Leah Mulrenan on

Meet the 2024 YGPC Arts and Culture Committee team and their two volunteer coaches, Sesha Kadakia and Vasant Narayan!

The Arts and Culture Committee team’s goal is to represent youth voices and the multicultural communities in Boston. They want to achieve this by establishing a space for youth artists to create and display art and by funding materials for a mural project.

Their coach, Sesha, is the co-founder and CEO of Tangify, a startup leveraging AI to automate IP discovery. Prior to Tangify, Sesha was a leveraged credit investor at Angelo Gordon (acquired by TPG), where she underwrote investments in the US and across Europe. Sesha previously served as an associate on the High Yield Research team at Citigroup where she was part of the two-person team ranked #1 in industrials, #1 in services, and #2 in autos.

Sesha was motivated to coach for the YGPC because she participated in a social entrepreneurship program in high school and it was transformative for her. Sesha learned how to do market research, how to put together a business plan, and how to pitch an idea to a panel of judges. “It was difficult but also transformative,” she said.

Similarly, Vasant, the team’s additional coach, has a passion for the YGPC that originates from a drive to support and encourage the next generation of entrepreneurs and enable them to pursue their social impact/business ideas at an early age. Vasant shared, “I wish I had started my entrepreneurial exploration/journey years earlier, and I want to ensure others don’t have that same regret.”

Vasant is an entrepreneur/operator with 20+ years of experience. He began his career working in a variety of roles spanning from risk management to finance to M&A at large enterprise companies such as Morgan Stanley and RR Donnelley. Eventually, Vasant found his sweet spot in sales and business development. More recently, he has launched an online marketplace called GATO (Get All Things Outdoor) that helps outdoor enthusiasts buy and sell their secondhand gear with greater speed and confidence. Vasant is also a member of SCI’s Board of Directors!

The goal of SCI’s Pitch Contest is to provide youth with the opportunity to decide how to strengthen their community while practicing valuable professional skills such as public speaking, project management, and community organizing. With the guidance and support of multiple professional volunteer coaches, each youth team will develop their project ideas and be in the driver’s seat of positive change. The youth teams will also have the opportunity to participate in skill-building workshops related to team collaboration, public speaking, and pitch development.

The Pitch program will culminate on April 6th, when SCI will host the in-person Pitch Event at the Microsoft NERD Center where $14,000 of grant funds will be awarded to at least 7 of our participating youth groups. Media are invited to attend the Pitch Event. Funded youth teams will have until November 2024 to complete their respective projects and submit a project impact report.

This project is supported by Kick It for a Cause, Winning Home, Inc., Social Equity Access Fund, Gail O’Rourke, founder, Benefact4, Enterprise Bank, the AmeriCorps Agency, Massachusetts Service Alliance, and a Massachusetts state budget line item, thanks to the advocacy of State Senator Cindy Friedman. Major support for SCI Woburn is provided by Cummings Properties.