3 min read

How to Turn an Idea Into a Portfolio of Leadership Projects

How to Turn an Idea Into a Portfolio of Leadership Projects

When it comes to leadership endeavors, from your capstone project to your college extracurriculars, ideas that you’re excited to work on late into the nights are hard to come by  —  so when you find something that genuinely sparks your interest, it’s important to make the most of it.

©Alex Cork

Some of the most successful companies, nonprofits, events and enterprises were borne of passion projects whose creators had the right mix of ambition, dedication and resourcefulness. Take, for example, Facebook: the idea was notoriously conceived in Mark Zuckerberg’s college dorm room and in less than a decade grew into the social networking giant we all know, with several subsidiary companies, services and initiatives descending from it.

Ideas don’t always have a clear roadmap to take them from a concept to a tangible project; but when you approach them one step at a time, it can be easier to identify the next step on the path to growth. Whether that next step is to raise money, teach others or start an awareness campaign, taking your project to the next level requires a growth mindset — and you can’t stop there!

Stephanie Wang

When COVID-19 hit, so did mountains of misinformation. With a love of science and a particular interest in epidemiology (the study of how viruses spread), Stephanie saw an opportunity to make a difference.

Her primary idea was to write a book to introduce students to epidemiology. It’s a daunting task for any first time author, but the task was even more grueling alongside the ongoing demands of high school. However, Stephanie persevered and with the help of professors willing to review her content, she wrote Epidemiology Unmasked — which is now available in her local libraries.

But she didn’t stop there.

Stephanie saw an opportunity to raise money from the royalties of her book sales and thus far, she has been able to purchase 1,000 masks for frontline health workers with the proceeds. Further, fueled by the accomplishment of writing her book, Stephanie also wanted to teach students about the basics of public health. So, through the nonprofit she founded with friends (called Kid Teach Kid), Stephanie ran a free online workshop for hundreds of students.

Even then, she didn’t stop.

To incite a long-term change, Stephanie wanted to address the root of the problem that inspired her to write Epidemiology Unmasked, which was a lack of public health education in schools. She spoke to her biology teachers who helped turn her book into lesson plans and worksheets for the subject matter to be taught in schools.

Koki Mashita

Koki’s first experience with investing was when he put a few hundred dollars into Bitcoin at 12 years old. He caught the investing bug and was soon researching companies and mapping market trends. His dad lent him $1,000 to invest, which sparked a flame that turned into his ongoing enthusiasm for the stock market.

As Koki gained confidence in both market research and entrepreneurship, he took his love of investing to the next level and co-founded Lallic Partners, an investment firm run by high school students. Through trial and error, Lallic Partners won over a handful of clients and now manages more than a million dollars!

But he didn’t stop there.

With their combined knowledge, Koki and his team have set up a platform to teach other students about the basics of investing. Further, his experience in entrepreneurship has enabled Koki to pursue other business ideas like the imminent launch of a Kickstarter campaign for a new environmentally friendly product in women’s hygiene.

Taking your passion projects to the next level is a matter of being diligent and utilizing your resources. Any idea can evolve into a well-rounded extracurricular and leadership profile when you’re committed to its growth — and with the support of people who want to see you succeed. Do you have an idea with potential, but aren’t sure how get it off the ground? SIS Education's vast network of expert mentors can help. To learn more about turning your project into an extracurricular portfolio that shines, schedule a free consultation with one of SIS Education's Academic Advisors.