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Interview

Skyler Basco.

My name is Skyler Basco, a high school senior from Merrick, New York with an enthusiasm for merging design, entrepreneurship, and technology to build communities!

I see that you’re the Founder and CEO of BEAM. Could you tell us a little about the initiative and what your overall goal for it is?

BEAM is an international, student-run organization of over 1,000 high school students encouraging peer support through the college admissions process. We’ve matched 230+ students to college mentors, hosted a college conference of 300+ attendees, held undergraduate panel AMAs, and more. From essay writing, to resumé building, to community support, we believe collaboration is the future!

What words of advice would you give to your younger self? 

Stop waiting for that opportunity. Start creating that opportunity for yourself, and you’ll get to where you need to be faster. 

How has the pandemic affected you mentally? What things did you learn about yourself during the course of this pandemic that you didn’t know before?

This pandemic has given me time to focus on discovering myself and diving deeper into my passion for creating interdisciplinary communities. Over the past few months, I’ve realized that life is too short to be scared of reaching for the “impossible.” Have a dream? Act on it now. Act on it as if the world were ending. 

What self-care practices do you recommend? Furthermore, why is it important to scope out time for yourself each day?

I often use music to stay sane throughout everything I embark on, whether it be a personal, academic, or entrepreneurial endeavor. I definitely advise making a Spotify playlist to match each of your moods. When you’re feeling down, tune into your sad song playlist, and when you’re feeling motivated, listen to an upbeat playlist devoted to hyping yourself up. In any given situation, you can harness the power of music to maintain a strong mentality. You need time for yourself amidst the “hustle and bustle” in order to recharge and bounce back stronger than ever.

Why do you think prioritizing mental health is so important, especially for youth?

Social media platforms—including TikTok, YouTube Instagram—have grown to become a significant part of our lives. However, it’s integral that we occasionally step back from our devices and take time to reflect on ourselves. The internet often sets unattainably high standards for beauty, body image, and physical appearance, and this can affect our self-esteem. Prioritizing a “social media detox” once in a while is necessary to focus on self-care and recharging amidst the fast-paced culture of these platforms. 

Who have been your biggest role-models or resources in times of unsureness, grief, and healing? 

Watching Round 14 of the Rocky movie drastically altered my perspective on “winning.”

Apollo knocks Rocky out, thinking he won Round 14, but at the last second, Rocky found an ounce of strength to get back up and fight again. Rocky didn’t win the overall fight, but he won a true leader’s mindset: pushing through, despite all odds stacked against him. 

I once felt like an underdog in the realm of “leadership.” However, what I did not realize was that—just like Rocky—all leaders began as an underdog. All leaders experience failure, but all leaders will take pride in the fact that, despite unexpected results, true success derives from the thick skin they developed as they worked to fulfill their goals. 

Is there anything else you would like Revive’s audience to know about?

On February 20th-21st & 27th-28th, 2021, BEAM is hosting our first ever BEAMathon, a conference preparing students of all ages for life in college, career pathways, college applications, & beyond. You can get insights from employees & current/past/incoming interns from Apple, Google, LinkedIn, Tesla, NASA, Microsoft, Verizon, etc. Incoming college applicants—including high school juniors and below—can gain advice from students at MIT, Princeton, Columbia, Cornell, UPenn, Yale, and more! More information and the registration form is at https://linktr.ee/beamcommunity


Check out Skyler, BEAM, & Register for the 2021 BEAMathon!

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