Bigger Brain: Student Fellow Sage Saccomanno reflects11-13-2022
When I started working at the Hannah Arendt Center as a Student Fellow three years ago, I never expected to be starting my own business before I graduated from Bard. The first day I showed up to work at the center, HAC's Executive Director, Tina Stanton, showed me the ropes. I was a little
nervous and overwhelmed: there seemed to be so much behind the scenes work, and I had no clue where to start. Luckily Tina and the rest of the center took me under their wing and helped me to learn the ins and outs of running a non profit organization. Little did I know at the time, but this information was going to be crucial in the development of my own brand two and a half years later.
Before I was involved at the center, I tended to spend a lot of time listening to others and basing my beliefs on their opinions and thoughts. After being a Courage To Be Fellow my first year, I started to become more confident in my own thinking and opinions. The Arendt Center helped me start to realize the true importance of bold and risky thinking, especially in times like we are living in today. From being able to personally reach out to Professor Emeritus Adolph L. Reed Jr. and setting up my Courage To Be Talk to now being Tina’s right hand office assistant, everything I have done at the center has benefited me in one way or another. Not only has the work I do at the Hannah Arendt Center benefited me, but the work done by the rest of the team at the Hannah Arendt Center inspires me everyday. Everyone at the center is so supportive and understanding of one another that it allows for a healthy and creative environment for ideas to foster.
The opportunities that the center makes available to students like myself all over the world is incredible to me. The Virtual Reading Group, the Amor Mundi newsletter, the monthly talks- and especially the conferences - are just some of the numerous events the center hosts that have had a positive influence on me. I am consistently inspired to speak my mind and express my opinions in group settings. I am inspired to make an impact on those around me. I am inspired to work to make a global impact, and the Hannah Arendt Center has played a pivotal role in showing me that this can be accomplished.
The inspiration and lessons that the HAC has given me have been vital in the creation of my new business, Bigger Brain LLC. Bigger Brain is a clothing company that I’ve established with the mission to empower young individuals that being smart is cool. More often than not I meet young individuals who lack the support and confidence necessary in order to have a successful education. Bigger Brain intends to change that reality. Through designing and sporting clothes that educate and provide style simultaneously, we plan to encourage youth generations to be proud of their intelligence and to continue to pursue higher education. Now, more than ever, we need to work together to solve the global issues we find ourselves facing more and more everyday.
I am grateful for the opportunities I’ve been provided at HAC because they have helped shape me into the business woman, and critical thinker I am today. Without my experience at the center, I don’t think I would be as confident as I am in my business today. I am appreciative to all who work at the center for helping me along this journey, and continuing to support me in school even though I switched from political studies to chemistry. The support is like no other, and I am so thankful to be a part of this community.
Sage Saccomanno has been a HAC Fellow since 2019. Read more about Bigger Brain and contribute to her kickstarter here.