They are entrepreneurs who donate proceeds to charity. They are volunteers who are committed to important causes.
They are organizers and doers and future entrepreneurial leaders who are beginning their Babson journeys.
The second cohort of the scholarship program at The Arthur M. Blank School for Entrepreneurial Leadership at Babson College is a diverse and accomplished group of students who embody the core values upon which the Blank School is built. They already have shown that they Put People First, Listen and Respond, Include Everyone, Innovate Continuously, Lead by Example, and Give Back to Others.
And, they appreciate the opportunity—and responsibility—they have earned.
“This is going to be a defining experience in my overall Babson journey,” Jyothisha Chilukuri ’25 says.
“Only six people are chosen to be Blank (Leadership) Scholars each year, and with that, comes a great deal of responsibility,” Matthew Johnson ’25 says. “There is an expectation to be great. I want to fulfill that expectation, and lead by example.”
United in Creating Value
Kellen Kruglewicz ’25 hails from Atlanta, the adopted hometown of Arthur M. Blank ’63, H’98, the legendary co-founder of Home Depot, owner of the Atlanta Falcons, and ESPN’s 2021 Sports Philanthropist of the Year.
“Being an Atlanta native, I’ve always looked up to Mr. Blank,” Kruglewicz says. “From studying his entrepreneurial successes, to seeing examples of his leadership within his sports organizations, he has always been one of my role models.”
Now, he’s a Blank Leadership Scholar.
The scholarship program was created as part of the landmark $50 million gift from The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation and provides a four-year, full-tuition scholarship to six promising entrepreneurial leaders each year. The new cohort of Blank Leadership Scholars—Chilukuri, Johnson, Kruglewicz, Alexis “Lexie” Cheng ’25, Kendall Garvey ’25, and Aran Glynn ’25—are united by a passion for entrepreneurship and a determination to make their mark.
“Only six people are chosen to be Blank (Leadership) Scholars each year, and with that, comes a great deal of responsibility. There is an expectation to be great. I want to fulfill that expectation, and lead by example.”
Matthew Johnson ’25
“I realized that my ultimate life goal is to be a Babson alumni who breaks that mold of the corporate executive stereotype, with a mission to leave a positive footprint on the world,” Cheng says. “Babson was the perfect fit for my aspirations.”
Glynn says the opportunity is empowering. “Being a Blank Scholar shows the school’s belief that I can have a platform, and I can use that platform wisely to lead in business and the arts,” he says. “That recognition is such a crucial part of how I plan to create value in the world.”
Meet the Scholars
As the pandemic impacted the world, and her final year of high school, Alexis “Lexie” Cheng ’25 reacted like an entrepreneur. Yearning for normalcy, Cheng co-founded Klimate Kombucha, a specialty beverage distribution company which donated 20% of its proceeds to organizations that fight climate change. At Babson, Cheng plans to combine her passion for problem solving with her experience in entrepreneurship to solve one of the world’s biggest challenges. “Whatever my entrepreneurial endeavor is in the future,” says the Rockville, Maryland, resident, “it will be focused on climate change.”
Jyothisha Chilukuri ’25 had set up a working mall and launched a magazine—even before completing elementary school. Then, just days into ninth grade, the Marlborough, Massachusetts, resident started a club that grew into her school’s first chapter of Operation Smile, an organization that delivers safe cleft palate surgery to those who need it most. She also started a podcast, That Coconut Life, which covers topics and social-justice issues pertinent to the Indian-American community. “We were able to help others gain a voice in a meaningful conversation,” she says.
During the summer before her senior year in Wilbraham, Massachusetts, Kendall Garvey ‘25 started a venture called Kendall’s Sweet Serenity to sell innovative baking games and treats on the side, but when the custom-baked goods took off, she pivoted her business and managed to give back. Garvey donated a portion of the profits to Feeding America, a nationwide network of more than 200 food banks. Now, she’s motivated to make the most of her Babson experience. “It’s a huge opportunity for me to learn more about entrepreneurship and values-based leadership,” she says.
Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, Aran Glynn ’25 is a natural leader who likes to create artistic space for future students. “I created the fashion club. I created our school’s first mixed-media, visual arts publication,” he says. “I was also able to find students who have an artistic inclination, and collaborate with them. I lead Glee. I lead the Asian Cultural Society. I’m also leading the yearbook.” At Babson, Glynn looks forward to combining creativity with innovation, with a focus on fashion and business.
If he’s not in school, Matthew Johnson ’25 is doing business. “Working on new projects, maintaining current projects, and consuming business-related content,” says the Miami resident. With a friend, he co-founded a venture called Quarantine Cooks, a subscription-based service providing software to members that they grew into a profitable enterprise. The pair sold the company after three months. His latest venture is reselling art work, which has earned him more than six figures to date.
Kellen Kruglewicz ’25 values relationships—and volunteering. He logged countless hours during high school volunteering as a lacrosse coach for physically challenged kids and joined an organization that brings mothers and sons together to bond through local philanthropic opportunities. “As president of our local Young Men’s Service League Sandy Springs Chapter, I saw my friends and I grow as people throughout high school, as well as strengthen our relationships with our moms,” he said. “We volunteered over 30,000 hours just last year alone, so it’s a great impact that we can have.”
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