"You're doing too much. Try picking one direction." That's what Rebecca R. Liebman says her teachers have been telling her for years. Her response: "What other time in my life can I do this much?"
Liebman, a senior Global Environmental Studies (GES) major and Innovation & Entrepreneurship minor at Clark University is engaged in several academic realms, entrepreneurial pursuits, student activities and more. If she has learned one thing, she says, it has been to "love many things," referring to a quote by Vincent Van Gogh that she keeps on the cover of her planner for inspiration.
Liebman is a model entrepreneur, Clark Making a Difference scholar, four-time selected member of the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U), and co-founder of a promising startup. Her irrepressible curiosity and skills at multi-tasking are setting the foundation for a busy and exciting future.
Besides delving into the GES program at Clark, Liebman discovered a passion for finance while taking an entrepreneurship class in the fall of her junior year. She began to think about the importance of finance in the American economy and realizing how few young adults are taught about what to do with their money. "I found it interesting that our society values getting a job so much, but nobody tells you what to do once you start to earn money," she says.
After spending months in Kenya and working in the Boston startup scene, Liebman decided to create something to teach people these important skills. She cofounded and began to pitch, sell, and produce the startup idea that has become LearnLux, an online site that teaches personal finance skills and financial literacy through interactive learning tools. It is the team's hope that LearnLux will address and help solve a crucial problem plaguing not just emerging adults, or millennials, but many adults today: financial illiteracy.
"I found it interesting that our society values getting a job so much, but nobody tells you what to do once you start to earn money."
LearnLux marked several milestones in the last year, Liebman notes. Most recently she won first place out of student teams at the TechSandbox annual Pitch fest Competition, where she took home the $500 prize.
While Liebman has found a passion for startups, her passion for environmental sustainability remains strong. She is most intrigued when the two are able to come together and, while they may not seem interchangeable, "The economy means nothing if you don't have a working environment where people can live."
Liebman, a graduate of South Windsor High School in Connecticut, reflects on her Clark University experiences: "I initially came to Clark because I saw the opportunity to take initiative and saw that students really make things happen. That has held true during my time here. Clark brings passionate, intelligent people together to make a collaborative community." Liebman's other activities and accomplishments include working with the Student Alumni Relations Committee (SARC), being a member of the Clark Women's Club Lacrosse Team, and working with the Admissions Office. She was selected to participate in the upcoming Up to Us competition, sponsored by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation and in partnership with the Clinton Global Initiative, which aims to educate and engage campus communities on America's growing long-term fiscal challenges and how they impact students' future opportunities. Liebman will be campaigning with her campus team through Feb. 20.
Is Liebman taking on too much? Time will tell, and as she says, this is her time. As the Van Gogh quote continues, "Love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is done well."
~ By Emma Ogg '17, Media Relations Assistant
Click here to learn more about entrepreneurship at Clark.
Founded in 1887 in Worcester, Massachusetts, Clark University is a liberal arts-based research university addressing social and human imperatives on a global scale. Nationally renowned as a college that changes lives, Clark is emerging as a transformative force in higher education today. LEEP (Liberal Education and Effective Practice) is Clark's pioneering model of education that combines a robust liberal arts curriculum with life-changing world and workplace experiences. Clark's faculty and students work across boundaries to develop solutions to complex challenges in the natural sciences, psychology, geography, management, urban education, Holocaust and genocide studies, environmental studies, and international development and social change. The Clark educational experience embodies the University's motto: Challenge convention. Change our world.