Michelle Berardino is a student at Fordham University and serves as a mentor in Social Impact 360.
Michelle suffers from severe allergies. At age 3, she suffered an anaphylactic reaction after eating a Nutrageous Bar. From that moment on, she was forced to keep her EpiPen by her side, but it was bulky and a hassle to carry during her youth.
She decided to solve this problem. The Wallep, her creation, is a complete and modified wallet that carries two large EpiPens, cash, credit cards, and keys. “People can feel more confident carrying their EpiPen with them,” she says.
Michelle won the 2016 Kenneth Cole Shift Series grant for her pitch of the Wallep. This grant provided funding and mentorship support from the Kenneth Cole production team to support her new business venture, the Wallep.
The SI360 CONNECTION
Michelle is not enrolled in the school of business, but SI360 allowed her to gain business skills, create a business, and realize she could effect change through entrepreneurship.
SI360 was unique… [the fact that it was] a fellowship comprised of a select group of students attracted me,” Michelle said. “I like to take a step back and learn from everyone around me, not just myself.” The community aspect of SI360 inspires Michelle to be socially invested.
SI360 also showed her that sustainability is vital in businesses. “Be sure to delve into the main issues at hand, as opposed to looking on the surface,” Michelle said. SI360 was able to give Michelle the tools and skills to develop her own ideas and find a social solution that she can be proud of.
“Anyone can start a business, you just need an idea,” she said.