Words by Rebecca Small
Seri Roth is a student at Boston University by day and an entrepreneur by night. With a passion for entrepreneurship, leadership, and giving, at 20-years-old and in her college dorm room, Seri worked countless late nights and early mornings to start her digital magazine. Step Up Magazine launched as a simple website in early January, 2017. What started as a digital magazine has now turned into a multifaceted media platform. Seri’s life mission is to work for a better tomorrow.
You started Step Up from your college dorm room. What inspired you to start your business?
I began a “Step Up” club while in high school. Every month, as a club, we’d choose an issue to step up for and draw awareness to. A few years later (when I was a sophomore in college) I had the idea to apply the concept of what I started in high school to an online destination that everybody could participate in.
Have you always had an entrepreneurial spirit?
Yes! My parents joke that I came out of the womb with an entrepreneurial spirit, and I don’t think that there has been a period of my life that I have not been creating or building something. I was that kid who spent her days creating and running pretend stores, pet shops, doctor’s offices, and I insisted my friends act in plays that I’d write and direct. I’ve always had a drive to create and run my own projects. When I have an idea, I must develop and then execute it. There is no stopping me when I say I’m going to do something.
You’ve talked about the importance of motivating young people to use their passions to make a difference. What is your passion and how have you used it?
I have so many passions and it would be a challenge to choose just one. When it comes to Step Up, my passion is in giving young people a platform to voice their opinions and views. One of the most powerful tools that we all have is our voice, and I hope to amplify the voices of students around the world.
At The Female Lead, one of our key themes is Asking for Help. Is there a particular network or individual/s that have been instrumental in your success?
There are so many individuals and groups of people that I look to for guidance. And I don’t believe you should ever limit yourself to one circle for guidance in your business. I think of my network as a tool box, and I call upon different people for different reasons. Sometimes I look to my friends for help, sometimes my fellow Step Up team members, and other times my network at school. I have recently set the personal goal of networking with as many professors at my school as I can. I think students often take for granted the incredible value and resources that you can find right at your school.
Step Up has grown tremendously over the last year, and you have also included a program called Step Up Education. Could you tell us a little bit about this program and what you hope to achieve?
Step Up Education is a work in progress right now, and we are excited to create and then implement a Step Up curriculum within high schools. Coming up sooner, however, will be our Step Up Clubs and Step Up Chapters.
Our Step Up Chapters will give student leaders the opportunity to run their very own Step Up Magazine on their campus. Students will be able to experience running their own magazine, from recruiting an editorial team to managing their entire enterprise.
Step Up Clubs will be implemented in high schools, and will take the form of what I started back when I was in high school. Every month, club members will choose a different issue to step up for and then focus that month on stepping up and drawing awareness to the issue at hand.