Juan Pablo Nunez Rodriguez arrived at The Village School halfway through his sophomore year and in that short time made a huge impact in the Village community. As a recent class of 2021 graduate, Juan used his two years at Village to cultivate his drive to develop his own business and learn what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur.
During his time at Village, Juan was involved in the entrepreneurship and the robotics club, as well as a founding member of the futuristics innovations club. Juan credits his club involvement and many of his Village teachers with providing the foundation he needed to start his own business. By exposing him to scenarios and opportunities to expand his entrepreneurial abilities, The Village School encouraged and nurtured his passions and led him to create ideas for businesses of his own.
“At Village, my favorite project was in my entrepreneurship class when we had to create an unique alarm clock,” Juan explains. “This project gave me the experience of pitching my ideas and projects on different occasions to different audiences.”
Experiences like these led Juan and his classmate, Emiliano Lovato, to start their own business, Kidszonee.
Kidszonee is an organization which aims to bring the community together through group activities. High school students are instructors for young students in activities such as music, art, physical education, and cooking.
“We created Kidszonee to support younger students who were having fewer interactions with their friends due to virtual learning,” Juan says. “We wanted to engage with our community by having high school students act as tutors, creating a connection with our younger students.” He continues, “Our program aims to unite the community and help them expand their talents and interests in different areas, arts and cultures.”
But Kidszonee wasn’t Juan’s first business idea. It was inspired by a previous platform Juan and his teammates, Emiliano Lovato, Dhruv Saligram, Marcos Ortiz and Danoush Mohashel created, called Student Power. StudentPower.co was created to help high school students gain community service hours by tutoring younger students. Through this project, Juan and his teammates learned the importance of bridging the gap between elementary and high school students within the Village community.
After it’s launch, Student Power was recognized with many awards including 2nd place at the JA Entrepreneur conference at Rice University, Honorable Mention at the Texas High School Ideas Challenge at Texas A&M University, and 2nd place at the Houston Community College Ideas Pitch Competition.
Encouraged by Student Power’s success, Juan saw the need during the pandemic to help younger students continue to have the opportunity to interact with other students, even if it is virtually. This led Juan and his teammates to create Kidszonee. And while Student Power is focused on academic tutoring, Kidszonee focuses on socialization for young kids and fun activities.
Kidszonee is now an online platform offering high school students hourly jobs by becoming instructors for younger students. Activities on the platform include music, art, physical education, and cooking. “Through Kidszonee, children can stay healthy, creative, and expressive, even when they can’t get together in person,” he explains.
In the future, Juan hopes to develop his business. In the fall, Juan will be studying business, majoring in finance and minoring in entrepreneurship at the University of Texas San Antonio and working on getting an insurance and real estate license.
To learn more about Kidszonne, check out their website or follow them on Instagram: @kidszonee.us