Kennedy Patlan ‘18, is a social entrepreneur with an interdisciplinary academic background that has propelled her to do what she’s passionate about: finding solutions.
No stranger to the LaunchPad, she became introduced to the glass cubicle when she joined the team as the first Blackstone LaunchPad Syracuse Engagement Scholar this past fall. During her time as engagement scholar she facilitated workshops, she helped develop the first ever Syracuse University Impact Prize, and helped organize the fall Hult Prize competition, and worked closely with social entrepreneurs to perpare for these prestigious events.
Patlan continued to be a part of the LaunchPad team this spring, offering social entrepreneurship office hours to mentor student entrepreneurs on building their business models, refining their mission, and developing their message.
Prior to her introduction to the Blackstone LaunchPad, Patlan had a strong grasp of what the entrepreneurial mindset is. A triple major in Women & Gender Studies, Advertising, and Citizen and Civic Engagement, Patlan created an interdisciplinary academic environment that allowed her to view the differences and intersections in this world through one lens.
Throughout her 4 years at Syracuse University she has been engaged with community and campus initiatives in the Syracuse area. Active in area organizations and movements, she is immersed in the life of the university. It is no wonder that she was named the 2018 CCE Maxwell Civically Engaged Citizen. Her endeavors have continuously been rightfully recognized, winning an extensive list of accolades and being named Remembrance Scholar and Newhouse Scholar, in addition to a POSSE Scholar.
During her time here she enacted a campaign known as the #BecauseSYR campaign, a voter education campaign she helped realize after noticing the lack of student voting and discovering the roots of the problem. Patlan also instituted a semester long educational program that created connections between students of color on campus and students of color in the community. The program focused on providing students of color in the community with the tools to self expression through different mediums of creativity. Being in three different fields of study at once paired with her experiential knowledge prepared Patlan with the tools and background necessary to viewing the world around us critically and proactively with an aim for sustainability.
Patlan simply operates with an entrepreneurial mindset wherever she goes, and makes the world around us move a little smoother. A testament to this is one of her recent accomplishments of completing the first major steps to creating a sustainable system for student volunteers and nonprofit organizations to connect and build efficient and mutually beneficial relationships.
She explained just how vital applying that entrepreneurial mindset is to all her endeavors, describing it as going hand in hand with enacting change. It is exactly that ability to spot opportunities paired with her nature to want to do better that has fueled her ability to find solutions to life for people beyond the Syracuse community.
Patlan is simply excellent and is never satisfied going through the motions. She is an exemplary engaged student and citizen, and was recently presented with the Most Promising Multicultural Student award by the American Advertising Federation.
Kennedy will be dearly missed in Syracuse by students, faculty, community organizers, and the Blackstone LaunchPad. There is no doubt that she will continue to be a pioneer of change in D.C., where she will be working as a campaign manager for the Ad Council, a nonprofit that creates public service announcements for nonprofit and government clients. Patlan’s work will continue to bread solutions past her time here.
If we had more people like Patlan, this world would be better place.
Story by Blackstone LaunchPad Engagement Scholar Luz Perez
Photo by Blackstone LaunchPad staff