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About The Author

Maya Malackowski

My family is what you would consider average, two parents, two kids, a pet, from the census’ point of view we are ordinary, the type of family, a child, would draw next to a pitched roof house. But I can assure you, that is only scratching the surface. Based on a quick google search, there is no perfect word in the English dictionary to describe my type of family, but if I could make one up, it would have to be “Famtrepreneurial”. Perfectly sums us up, a family of entrepreneurs, one that seeks to innovate when a new idea arises. 

I am so fortunate to have grown up in a “small town” that is the second-largest city in the United States. From a very young age, my parents introduced me to the neighborhoods that make our city truly unique. This cultural experience continued as I attended the British International School of Chicago which can be best described as a one-room schoolhouse. This community influenced me along two dimensions: a witness and participant to its entrepreneurial growth, and a beneficiary of its diversity.

When I enrolled at age 3 the school was part of a network of three, and today the school is a node in a network of 66 schools in 29 countries. My 33 classmates are from England, Nigeria, Argentina, Portugal, and many more. Even with this expansive diversity and rapid change it is a system that works and is one that has taught me the strength of group thinking, openness, and collaboration.

This diverse collection of students has propelled my interest in growing a Global understanding in terms of health, business, and culture. One example was our collaboration to raise funds and assist with the installation of solar panels, goat sheds, and a school foundation in Arusha Tanzania, a sister school in our network. I personally was head of marketing at outreach, responsible for raising a record $20,000 - surpassing our fundraising goal.

My experience has taught me that diversity is an asset, everyone is comfortable with the benefits of groupthink but rarely concentrate on why it is beneficial - diversity of thought. My school experience has wholeheartedly shaped who I am today and influenced my intellectual curiosity beyond the structured understanding of the world, and of collaborative innovation.

My experience at the British School brought not only group collaboration, an appreciation of rapid change but also the diversity of background, economically, and expressively. The greater our diversity the stronger our insight.

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