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Who We Are

Teens and adults, peers and experts, working with you to bring your ideas to life.
Young beautiful group of business workers working together. Relaxing moment drinking coffee and speaking standing at the office

Our Purpose

Teen Innovators is a peer community experience where students ages 11-16 practice creative and innovative thinking through flexible mentoring and leadership classes that are led by teens for teens. TI Students learn to think strategically, solve big world problems and lead their peers with confidence. TI Students and Peer Mentors grow alongside each other and learn life skills that provide a foundation for success as a purpose-driven leader of tomorrow.

About Us


We are passionate about instilling the drive, determination, and desire for tomorrow’s leaders to thrive. Teen Innovators was founded with the understanding that the leaders of tomorrow are writing their own playbook. It all starts with demonstrating the ability to ideate, owning the opportunity to fail, knowing how to get back up, and having the drive to get back in the game.

We are a team of entrepreneurs with kids, accomplished business executives and Rockstar teenage mentors committed to inspiring young leaders through our innovative and fun learning experiences. Our mentor sessions, multi-platform learning, business pitch programs and startlingly fresh and effective leadership skill presentations are all part of the monthly TI program.

Best cooperation. Pleasant senior man and his young intern using a 3D printer together while the man holding a laptop

What Can I Expect?

TI Students can expect:

  • Exposure to real-world challenges faced by successful businesspeople;
  • Participation in ideation sessions in a group and mentor-mentee sessions;
  • To develop the aptitude to verbalize ideas succinctly and share feedback constructively;
  • To listen and participate in dozens of live and streamed leadership classes on anything from Persuasive Communication to Opinion Writing to Overcoming Procrastination to Influencer Marketing.

Students get to choose 1 on 1 or group sessions with a peer mentor of their choosing. Your peer mentor takes the time to understand your interests and helps you choose an issue or business problem to address. You work together for a couple of sessions and then, if you?d like, you can get matched with an expert mentor who will listen to your ideas and help you shape them into a solution or product idea. The best ideas get the opportunity be in our 2-Minute Pitch and win exciting recognition and prizes.

Christine Hutchison,
Executive Director and Founder

Our Founder

As a corporate warrior, serial entrepreneur and mother of two boys, founder Christine Hutchison understands both the travails of professional success and the importance of instilling creativity in children. Her inspiration for Teen Innovators was sparked after her pre-teen said, “Look at me, I’ve already started my own business and if I fail, I know how to start another one.’ Knowing that attitude is neither unique to her own kids nor should it be, Christine developed platforms that will enable future leaders to gain access to professional-level resources that support both their inevitable failures and impended successes and dreams.

Our Staff

Kate Szczudlo
Kate Szczudlo

Manager of Curriculum & Training

Kate teaches English and coaches the speech team at Reavis High School. Her passions include parenting her three children, unleashing creativity, and amplifying the voices of young people.

“Speak your truth even if your voice shakes.”
–Maggie Kuhn

Tara Pendleton
Tara Pendleton

Manager of Curriculum & Training

Tara is a Business Teacher and Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) adviser at Normal Community High School.  Her educational ideal is to support youth as they pursue their own passions and achieve their personal excellence – whatever shape that may take.

These Peer Mentors are also proud Teen Innovator Staff

Ellison N.


Kate B.

Brand Ambassador

Nellie G.


Jessica C.


Oliver S.


Natalia Z.


Zachery B


Nicole C.

Curriculum and Training