Angelica Menefee ’90 (Spanish) is the founder and president of Trampoline Inc. and author of foreign language programs in her Explorer series; art, music and character development programs in her Scholar series; and physical education programs in her Competitor series. Trampoline offers interactive educational enrichment curricula for students ages 2 to 9.
How did Dickinson prepare you for your current career/endeavor?
Living abroad my junior year was a pivotal time for me. While I definitely got a great foundation in Spanish, which made writing my first learning program easy, the biggest change came from living away from home. As I child I was a bit of a homebody: One of the reasons I chose Dickinson was because it was a short drive from Baltimore, and I could come home any weekend I wanted. Pushing myself to live in another country, completely out of my element, changed me. Knowing that I could thrive thousands of miles away from everything that was comfortable was transformative.
“Go with your gut and never be afraid to reinvent yourself.”
What was your "aha" moment?
When I first had the idea to start a preschool education company that focused on subjects that weren’t accessible to all preschoolers, I did a little market research and didn’t find anything similar out there. I set up a booth at the National Association for the Education of Young Children convention. There I met my first major client, who told me that Berlitz Corp. had just pulled out of the preschool market and they were desperate to find a company that could provide them with a Spanish curriculum that their own teachers could use. At that moment I knew that competition was not going to be an imminent problem. Once I saw that foreign languages had a place in the early childhood market, I knew the other subjects would be successful there too.
What inspires you?
My own kids and my students. There is nothing better than seeing kids actually enjoy learning something new in a creative and fun way.
What advice would you offer to the entrepreneurs of tomorrow?
Go with your gut and never be afraid to reinvent yourself.
I’m back in graduate school getting a master’s in instructional design and technology. I’m hoping to take my skills and creativity into the corporate world to create job-based education and training programs for adults.
“Living abroad my junior year was a pivotal time for me. Knowing that I could thrive thousands of miles away from everything that was comfortable was transformative.”
Published April 12, 2016