May 2019

Meet GRASP Alumnus Ian Ragland

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What is the best thing GRASP did for you? GRASP offered me a chance to pursue a bachelor's, aided me throughout my endeavors, and paved the road to my mastership. Really, you can trace my past successes alongside the support of GRASP -- in a way.

What one piece of "educational advice" would you give to high school students? As cliche as it may sound, don't allow an early slump to take place - if at all possible. It is much easier to maintain good standings than it is to fight a 4-year uphill battle for a notable grade point average. Do things right the first time, and you will be giving yourself an advantage over your future competition (colleagues and friends you graduate with). You eliminate wasting energy on "clean-up" this way and can focus on what should be most important at that pivotal time in your lives.

What is the biggest life challenge you faced relative to your educational path? I've been rejected from grad school twice now. It led to me changing my entire future around and setting scopes on new aspirations. However, in hindsight, it was meant to be, and the thing I once perceived as a speed bump ended up being a fateful and positive occurrence.

What are you doing now? As of now, here are my current involvements:

  • Chief Creative Officer at Green Wheels, a new venture I just co-founded
    (just launched an Indiegogo campaign)
  • Freelance Strategic Consultant at SPARK Product Development
  • Program Manager at Dominion Energy Innovation Center starting June 1
    (Richmond Times-Dispatch article)
  • Attending the European Innovation Academy (Turin, Italy) in July to hopefully develop a new product.
  • Almost through with my master's program at the VCU da Vinci Center (halfway done with my capstone, fully done with scholastic requirements). I walked [at graduation] Thursday, May 9th because the ceremony only happens yearly.

Expanding students' opportunities to learn

GRASP is a Virginia 501(c)(3) nonprofit. GRASP seeks to give ALL students in Virginia the opportunity to build fulfilling lives through post-secondary educational pathways.