Volume 31



alLive you, HW Inc.

Winners of 6-day incubator propose mental health initiative
Jacky Zhang ’21
Members of alLive present their project to a panel of judges on Saturday, June 18 in Rugby Theater.

Even before it was announced that they won, members of alLive embraced each other and celebrated their achievement. The four person team, comprised of Angela Ren ’26, Grace Kim ’26, Katelynn You ’26 and Lauren Kvamme ’28, took first place after presenting their project to a panel of judges on the night of Saturday, June 18 at the closing of Harvard-Westlake (HW) Inc.
Their project alLive can be described as an online safe space for expression that provides a therapeutic effect on the users, while helping to create a strong and supportive community, and was a variation on an idea originally proposed by Kim.
“When she said it, on probably the second day, my first reaction was like, Oh, that’s a great idea,” Ren said. ”Because our original idea was more like an online diary, instead of, like, just art, music and that type of different mediums.”
That was on the second day of the six-day program. Eventually, the team settled on their final project alLive, a completely anonymous and safe space to post their art, music or writing without social pressures.
“An online diary, where you can post your own things, and possibly share with other people, while being totally anonymous, is like a way where you can actually like, say what you think,” Ren said.
This was the judges favorite idea and won first place. Todd Jackson ’99, Sameer Gupta ’99 and Caro Krissman ’94 were part of the panel that watched all of the presentations.
“All the way around, an absolutely phenomenal presentation, a great idea, and something that really could change the world,” Krissman said. “We all really believed that it was topical, it was unique, and the way that you’re approaching this problem is something that resonates with kids and really will change the way people approach mental health.”

A completely student-run program, HW Inc 2022 was Ava Weinrot ’23 and Hope Hsieh’s ’23 first year being co-leads after both joining the team in 2020. Hsieh says that the experience was daunting.
“I remember being on the team in 2020 and being assigned relatively small and easy jobs, then being essentially a shadow to Jacky [Zhang ’21] and learning the backend of the backend,” Hsieh said. “And then to actually lead…is scary. I like being in charge but it’s also very hectic, I think I did something for Inc almost everyday this year.”
Running a summer camp comes with ups and downs, however, which is something that Hsieh said she has had to learn to navigate. She says that timing was one of her biggest challenges when planning the program.
“Working on a summer program means that everything is building up for this big boom. And you hope it’s a good boom but there’s a chance it’s a bad boom,” she said.
“We [Ava and I] had to expand our communication skills to a max this year, working with people on their deadlines while also trying to make ours.”
Regardless, Weinrot says that the growing sense of community among participants was one of the most rewarding parts of running the camp.
“I saw them [participants] come in on Monday, and some of them knew each other and some of them didn’t, but by Friday night, I think that they all felt a little bit more connected to each other,” Weinrot said. “My goal this year was to run the leadership team in a way that would make other people want to join it, and in a way that was like that good balance between having the kids produce a product that they felt proud of, and also have a lot of fun at the same time… Everyone should join the Inc team, we have a great time.”

Runner-up Sam Pulaski ’24 came back to HW Inc for the fourth time this year. He and his team invented ParkWay, a way for homeowners to utilize their driveways while they were away from home by renting them out, which was an idea he says that he would be interested in pursuing in the future. Pulaski first participated in HW Inc in 2019, after being recruited by then leader Coco Kaleel ’20.
“That personal touch made me go. And I really, really enjoyed it. I liked the
atmosphere. I liked building a business in a week,” Kaleel said. “So I just came back, and I kept doing it.”
For his project this year, Pulaski says that ParkWay was something that was so obvious, yet hadn’t been designed before. With the help of faculty adviser Rob Levin, Sam was able to narrow down his idea.
“I was driving home one day, and I saw a billboard about parking. And I sort of misinterpreted it. And I thought it was about the driveway thing. So I researched it, found out it didn’t exist, and we decided we should go with it.”
Pulaski says his favorite part was simply just getting to know his team while creating ParkWay.
“I really like just working with my team,” he said. “I think every year that’s usually the most fun part.”

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