The Origins of Pupil

Sept. 22, 2021 — New York, New York — The early life of Omarina Cabrera, a student from the Bronx, New York, was one filled with chaos at home, the loss of a father, and the underlying threats looming on the streets. It was a life that resembles what many students are facing right now. However, Omarina’s story is different. She was able to change her life for the better, with the help of a caring and helpful mentor. It was this idea of mentoring that allowed Omarina to gain new knowledge and experience to make the right decisions and achieve her goals. In the short movie, Omarina is a young woman who grew up with the world against her, but soon became a leader among leaders at George Washington University and Bank of America.

👥 Introducing the Founders!

We met...

Pupil began in 2020 as a one-stop-shop for mentorship, college guidance, and information. Each member at Pupil is a student working towards a high school or college education.

👨‍💻 Aarav Makadia

We serve our peers; Pupil is for students, by students. We hear the stories in the hall, see the struggles over getting an interview, and go through the obstacles that almost every other student goes through. Pupil can predict and solve future challenges affecting our peers faster than any other venture. We believe students are the solutions to their own problems. They just need the right environment and guidance to thrive, learn, and discover their untapped potential.

If there’s one thing Dario and I learned from our experiences, it's that leadership is not about position, rather disposition. No matter our age, class, or race, we must do our best to serve our peers and help one another out. Omarina and Dario are only 2 examples of how mentorship can positively benefit the trajectory of one’s career. Our team saw there weren't other platforms like Pupil and began building it to help inspire a wave of leaders, innovators, and scholars from a disadvantaged background via mentorship and university exposure.

👨🏽‍💼 Dario Anaya

Pupil stemmed from my personal experiences as a first-generation, low-income, Latinx youth growing up in Gary, Indiana, where most schools are rated a C- and below, and 90% of us were on free or reduced lunch with peewee gangs making kids feel like they had a tribe. There was a lack of guidance, and students like me were getting mixed into the wrong crowds. After middle school, I had the option to apply to a ranked college preparatory school. I failed my entrance exam with terrible grades. Yet, I received a call from the Dean of the school to have an on-campus interview due to my strong recommendation letters. Thankfully, I got in!

From the first day, I noticed my new school's abundant resources that my previous school couldn't afford. I was surrounded by intense academic rigor, affluent peers and didn't have a tribe. I struggled to maintain my grades until my sophomore year when I found who my mentors were, what they were trying to teach me, and my potential. Later that year, I landed a research assistantship at Princeton University, and met my co-founder, Aarav. Our mentors noticed our chemistry and encouraged us to challenge ourselves.

Learn from people further in their lives

Download the app to meet people with similar career interests, social causes, and fascinating educational backgrounds! Avoid the social constraints of finding mentors on Pupil!

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