Home » Next-Gen News: ACS Athens Students Look to Pioneer Youth-Centric News Site

Next-Gen News: ACS Athens Students Look to Pioneer Youth-Centric News Site

Mar 6, 2024 | News

When it comes to entrepreneurial success, we often think about a singular visionary—a face synonymous with a company’s triumphs. However, in reality, many iconic companies, including Apple, Facebook, and Microsoft, were established not by one, but by a collective force of determined minds, some of which are not the ones we read about in the headlines.

Katerina Logan, Apostolos Tsekouras and Dimitrios Manioudakis are one such team growing through the ACS Athens OPEN process. These three ninth-grade students are embarking on a transformative journey. Their mission? To bridge the gap between young minds and the often complex world of current events. What sets their story apart is the unique twist that the founder of the team, Dimitrios Manioudakis, has now moved to Brussels, where he contributes remotely.

Despite the physical distance, the team is now refining and shaping the news site that seeks to make headlines more digestible for their peers. Joining a concept initiated by somebody else has not been easy, but Katerina and Apostolos have taken the idea like a baton and are running with it. In fact, their unique situation may even be a benefit since being a step removed from the original concept has allowed them to embrace feedback without constraints, fostering evolution and progress.

The inspiration behind their concept stems from a keen awareness that news can be overwhelming for middle schoolers, hindering their ability to engage in meaningful discussions about current events. If students at ACS Athens, an international school with 60+ nationalities, were not engaged in current events and news, this certainly is a broader problem that needs to be addressed. Katerina, Apostolos and Dimitris aim to dismantle this barrier by creating a news site that presents information in a way that is both appealing and comprehensible for their age group.

The ACS Athens OPEN process, with its boot camps and mentor sessions, has been a catalyst for “aha moments” for the entrepreneurial team, including the understanding that:

  1. Transforming ideas requires preparation and flexibility. To date, the group has navigated through the intricacies of refining their concept, which starts with sourcing news from credible sources and utilizing artificial intelligence to convert the news into stories that can draw and keep a Middle Schooler’s attention. The concept has shifted a few times to reflect feedback from customer interviews and mentors, which has resulted in an approach that is better suited for meeting the goal of engaging young people.
  2. If you want a specific outcome, you have to ask specific questions. Whether consulting with mentors or directing Chat GPT to convert content, this team has realized that you have to be focused and intentional with each request or risk getting responses that could take you down an unintended direction.

Currently, the team is at the juncture of testing three variations of their concept, aiming to fine-tune the process and output to maximize youth engagement. Customer interviews have provided crucial insights, revealing the allure of clickbait and the need for content aligned with students’ interests, including sports, books, gaming, art, history, and even crime, which was a surprise category the two had not anticipated. Armed with this knowledge, the team is set to build the news website that will captivate their peers.

When asked about their advice for students eyeing ACS Athens OPEN this year, the team wholeheartedly encouraged participation with Katerina underscoring that “learning about entrepreneurship is an important educational experience.”

Their enthusiasm echoes the spirit of innovation that defines ACS Athens OPEN—a space where ideas flourish, and young minds take the reins of their entrepreneurial destinies.

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