Dario Anaya

Dario Anaya

Founder, Pupil

www.getpupil.com | Education

New York University

Heritage: Mexican & Puerto Rican
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Startup Summary

“Pupil matches disadvantaged high schoolers with university students and alumni mentors from partnered universities via an algorithm of commonalities.”

Universities are becoming more selective, expensive, and intimidating, leaving millions of first-generation, limited-income, and students of color struggling for guidance. Kids are left thinking they are incapable of attending college, completing their education, fitting in, or finding a career path. Pupil was created to provide an equitable solution that challenges those roadblocks students face, like costs, selectivity, and location. Students are able to share their interests in school, study, careers, and identities and be matched with mentors across the nation who guide them into and  through college. All the while, it also aims to improve universities' demographic exposure, admissions pipeline, data monetization, alumni engagement, and marketing efforts.

About Founder | LinkedIn |

Pupil stemmed from Dario’s personal experiences as a first-generation, low-income, young Latinx growing up in Gary, Indiana, where most schools are rated a C- and below, and 90% are on free or reduced lunch. Dario experienced a lack of guidance, and was no stranger to witnessing students just like him getting mixed into the wrong crowds. After middle school, he had the option to apply to a ranked college preparatory school. He failed his entrance exam but received a call from the Dean of the school to have an on-campus interview because of his strong recommendation letters and thankfully, got in! From day one, he noticed the abundant resources available to students,  the intense academic rigor, and affluent peers. He struggled to maintain his grades until sophomore year when he found his mentors who helped him discover his untapped potential. With that support, he landed research assistantships at Princeton University and Harvard University, ultimately spawning his efforts to help students like him discover their untapped potential!