Alumni Spotlight – Alex Mealey

Learn to Start is proud to be working with the next generation of lower, middle, and high school students in reimagining what the 21st-century education system should look like. Hear from one of LTS’s incredible alumni, Alex Mealey, as he shares how LTS has impacted his personal and professional life since graduating from the program.


How has being in Learn To Start impacted your confidence as a person? LTS was the first time in high school where I was treated like an adult, in the way that my bad ideas were treated like bad ideas. The first presentation I gave in LTS went quite poorly. The first quarter of the class was the presentation and the next 3 quarters consisted of the class and the professor (Mr. Conroy) tearing into the idea and exposing all of its weaknesses and shortcomings. And even though, at the time, receiving negative feedback felt like the world was ending, I quickly realized that being criticized wasn’t so bad and I could learn a ton from it. From that point going forward my confidence rose immensely, especially when it came to public speaking.


How has LTS defined or redefined purpose for you in your personal and professional life? It’s difficult to measure exactly how much LTS changed me, but sometime around late high school I changed from a shy, meager hardworking student to an outgoing, talkative hardworking student which opened a lot of doors for me. Personally, I like to think I have an easier time forming all types of relationships because I’m quick to start a conversation and share my passions. Even during my current solo travels, I’m never too lonely cause I can always just talk to whoever is around me. Professionally, I think LTS has given me a special quality of loving public speaking. Engineers often default to being quiet people but almost all engineering work requires some type of presentation to either gain funding, teach coworkers or show progress. So what often happens is I jump at these opportunities while my peers shy away. Thus I become the go to guy for presentations and give myself an edge over my coworkers.


How has LTS defined or redefined preparedness for you in your personal and professional life? Well this is an interesting question because on the one hand, I worked so very hard on my pitches during LTS and it really paid off. But no matter how much I prepared, there was always a question from the audience that I hadn’t foreseen. This is where being a confident person came in where I didn’t mind admitting that I hadn’t foreseen the question and either answering on the spot or simply saying that we needed to do additional research. So in both professional and personal today, I work hard to cover my bases but also I trust myself to make the right call in the moment.

Connection to College

Did LTS have an impact on your college application process? I think the two most important parts of LTS were telling your story and receiving feedback. Unfortunately, college application decisions don’t come with lots of feedback, but the ability to tell my story in an engaging way definitely contributed to how I wrote my essays for college.

Share this post:

Alex Mealey

LTS Graduate (WPS)

Share this post:

Let's Discuss
Learn to Start