Meet Daquan Oliver (Under 30 '17)

REALITY Alumni Stories
  • Team REALITY

May 25, 2018


Daquan Oliver, founder of WeThrive, talks connections, challenge and inspiration. Read on to learn how Daquan’s REALITY experience was just the beginning of a shift to a deeper worldview.

Daquan Oliver

  1. Describe what you do and how you are trying to make an impact. As the founder of WeThrive, I work to bring an entrepreneurship curriculum to students in underserved communities in order to prepare them to thrive in tomorrow’s economy. All of the students working with our curriculum create real companies and earn real revenue, giving them entrepreneurial practice. Growing up in a single parent, low income family, I felt and saw the hardship that under-resourced and oppressed communities dealt with and it was always in the back of my mind that “One day, I’m going to change this whole thing up.”

  2. Who inspires the work that you do? My mom is 100% the biggest inspiration in my life. Seeing how hard she worked, but also how little progress we were able to make made it clear to me what kind of system we were up against. Other than my mom, I’d have to say that I have gotten a ton of inspiration from all of the people that told me no along the way; everyone who told me what I couldn’t do. My teachers always thought that because this kid dressed a certain way and talked a certain way, that I wouldn’t be able to excel and achieve. And in response to that doubt, I just doubled down to prove that I can be a certain way and I can talk a certain way, and I will still achieve

  3. What was the most meaningful moment on your REALITY journey? The moment that stands out to me was when we had dinner in the crater. We were at the lowest point on earth, celebrating these friendships we had just created in this incredibly unique atmosphere. It was such a very special life moment that I’ve never experienced in any other context. It brought me a very unique inner clarity.

  4. How did REALITY impact your personally? For me, the trip wasn’t just an experience and affirmation in clarity of a strong group of leaders and how it can come together. It was the initiation of a deeper worldview. I walked away from this experience with a lot of context on the inner complexities of world affairs. I was offered a more complex level of understanding as we took a deep dive into what happened in Israel and in that part of the world. It was so important to me to be able to learn the history of how these things came to be in such an experiential way. The entire experience immediately illuminated so many different pathways forward. I began to really think about what is going on in my community and what is my role in it.

  5. How have you shifted reality since your return? My personal vision is, and has always been to create a social-impact conglomerate. I wanted to see and prove what it looks like when a conglomerate forms on a social-impact specific standpoint.WeThrive is now offering a program intelligent software for other human services organizations to use. Last year we were purely after school, and this year we’re training and supporting educators in the classroom. I’m constantly drawing context from my REALITY experience and now I realize that this one experience wasn’t enough. It was just an initial insight and I’m always thinking about what it would mean to go deeper.

  6. Since REALITY, how do you “do” Shabbat? Share a short story. I live with two of my best friends and we’re always exploring “What is our Friday dinner?” Sometimes, it’s showing up at my roommate’s art gallery to support their work and reflect. Other times, it’s an actual dinner. I’m trying to work on how I can live the concepts of Shabbat because I do think it’s so essential. I think it’s a good thing to keep it intentional.

  7. What do you want the REALITY community to know about you? I’m extremely practical. I learn something and I have to operationalize it and make sure that it’s a part of me. If you’re doing that, or if you want to take a deeper dive into that, I can help.

  8. What can the REALITY community contact you about? Contact me about anything related to fun conversations, collaboration, intentionality, building community. I strongly believe that building community starts with one to one, and that’s what I’m here for.