SDG: 4

Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn

Mikaela Illanes & Mark Smith
Mikaela was raised in Södertälje, Sweden, with parents from Chile. Her own experience in an underserved area with no guidance for higher education or career choices made her want to make a change. While studying at KTH she met Mark who is a professor there. Local companies told him that they were not interested in KTH students because they lacked applied skills to contribute to the companies or the community. So together they decided to do something about it. And this is how Inicio started.


Inicio means “start” and we work to bring a new beginning for youth to find meaning in their lives. Our solution brings together schools, businesses and community resources in diverse events and workshops where students discover and develop abilities with the help of mentors. We've trained over 150 mentors with different backgrounds. At the Mentor space by Inicio, students can develop their dreams and talents hands-on. We also develop tools to measure student success and our own effectiveness.

Impact story

Emilie was a student from Nacka Gymnasium. She emailed Inicio saying that she was very interested in technology, but she knew nothing about it. We welcomed her into the Mentorspace and everyone there helped her. She loved it and kept coming back. By the time she graduated she was proficient at designing and building electronics, writing software, and was an expert at using the tools in the Mentorspace. Her senior project was so successful that she presented it to her entire school. She went on to study Computer Engineering at Chalmers. Her ambition to continue mentoring and giving back to society is evident as she has applied to join the Engineers without Borders organisation.
Share the story: