Lynn+ Watson graduate forges new pathways

Tessa Zimmerman ’16 is a trailblazer. She’s the first graduate of the Lynn+ Watson program.

Tessa Zimmerman at Commencement
Tessa Zimmerman

While in the program, she developed ASSET Education, which helps high school students overcome anxiety and succeed academically.

Zimmerman was motivated by her own experience coping with severe anxiety in school. At Easton Country Day School in Connecticut, she thrived in a nontraditional education environment. “I did a lot of independent studies there,” she said. “I had this personalized learning experience that I wanted to continue in college.”

Lynn+ Watson was the perfect fit. “The combination of Watson and Lynn is powerful,” she said. “You get to experience an established network of Lynn alumni and faculty paired with a newer school style that’s helping higher education open more doors for young entrepreneurs.”

After ASSET Education’s early success in Boulder and Denver, Colorado, high schools, Zimmerman is expanding the program. With a $9,000 prize from Imaginarium: Denver Public Schools Innovation Lab, she’s training 10 more teachers. By summer 2017, she plans to train 100 teachers each in Denver and New York.

For young entrepreneurs, Zimmerman has two pieces of advice: Find the right mentors and play the student card. “Having the right mentors has been a game-changer for me. Say, ‘I’m a student. What would it take to get 17 minutes of your time?’ I use odd numbers to get people’s attention, and it works."

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