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RCC Alum Attends MIT Innovation & Entrepreneurship Bootcamp

RCC Alum Attends MIT Innovation & Entrepreneurship Bootcamp

RCC Alum Daiki Yoshioka speaking at the MIT Bootcamp.

Week-long program in Brazil awakened his passion for social entrepreneurship

DATE: September 6, 2018

RAMAPO, N.Y. – Rockland Community College alumnus Daiki Yoshioka yearns to help students from disadvantaged backgrounds receive the same educational opportunities as their peers. After participating in the MIT Innovation and Entrepreneurship Bootcamp from July 28 to August 3 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, he believes he is better equipped to embark upon that noble cause.

Yoshioka, a 2017 graduate of the RCC Honors program and current junior at SUNY Binghamton spent 19 hours a day immersed in a project to identify solvable problems and launch a successful enterprise. His five-person team, a diverse group by nationality, age and gender, worked to devise a business plan addressing conflict management and office space in a hypothetical U.S. consulting firm. Although their plan ultimately fell through, Yoshioka said he learned several valuable lessons.

“I learned from failures about how to work efficiently in a team, how to lead the team while respecting everyone, and valuing different opinions within a team,” he said. “I also learned a lot from people. There were 120 participants from 40 different countries; everyone had different backgrounds and different journeys.” Perhaps most important, he gained a sense of empowerment and confidence to follow through on his ambitious career intentions. “After I finished the program, I got talking to people about entrepreneurs making this world a better place. That was a moment I pledged to work toward my goals to be a social entrepreneur.”

Yoshioka discovered the MIT boot camp through edX, a nonprofit organization that offers online university-level courses from some of the top colleges in the country, including MIT and Harvard. While attending a Youth Assembly at the United Nations in February 2018, he met numerous social entrepreneurs his age (he's 21), and got inspired to follow the same path. He raised $6,000 for the trip through various sources, including GoFundMe, the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Partnerships program at Binghamton, and corporate sponsorship from Japanese firms. He hails from Kanagawa, Japan.

While at RCC, where he spent his sophomore year,Yoshioka worked at the Reading and Writing Center and served on the Student Activities Board and Student Government Association, the latter as a sophomore senator. During a gap semester between completion at RCC and enrollment at Binghamton, he worked at the RCC Tutoring Center, where he met many students of limited means who stood to benefit from further educational support systems. His experience at the Tutoring Center helped kindle his interest in eventually launching an enterprise to tackle educational inequality in the U.S.

Overall, “RCC was very life-changing for me,” said Yoshioka, who spent his freshman year at the NIC International College, a language school in Tokyo, and is on track to graduate from Binghamton in 2019 with dual bachelor's degrees in comparative literature and philosophy. “I was blessed with faculty members who gave me such amazing advice on my journey.”

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CONTACT: Strategic Marketing