Changemaker SHowcase 2023
Check out this year's changemaker teams! You can watch a video recap of the Changemaker Showcase here, where our teams presented their finished projects and the impact they made.
Learn about each team and their projects below!
Help the Children of Ghana was a project dedicated to helping students in Ghana. In this project, I was able to raise money to provide essential school supplies for students in Nbanaayili Junior High. With this money, I provided the students with pens, pencils, bags, etc. In addition to this, I was able to provide the school with two computers and a projector. These computers were important because, with them, the students can become more knowledgeable about the usage of computers. Lastly, I sent letters to these students, that focused on encouraging them to pursue their education.
Many children around the world don’t receive education concerning the current environmental issues the Earth and themselves are facing. We wanted to provide knowledge concerning environmental issues, to the children around the world that don’t receive this through their own education systems. We wanted to provide both globally relevant knowledge as well as knowledge more relevant to the specific children’s areas (local) so that they in the end will be able to create their own project concerning a local environmental issue. This is because we believe that education is the way to solve the issues of the world! We began contacting elementary schools in Ghana and Jamaica and started creating a curriculum that was relevant to the specific environmental issues in these areas. Then we started purchasing portable chargers and data, for the school in Ghana, that wasn’t able to attend the course as long as they don’t have these resources. We intentionally created the courses for the children that normally don’t have the resources to achieve this knowledge, and therefore this is an essential part of our project, to make the courses accessible for them. We are hoping to start the courses as soon as the beginning of next week!
In the last 10 years, there have been 41 reported horse carriage accidents, not accounting for all illness, neglect, and abuse that these horses suffer unseen from the public eye. To help with the process of banning horse-drawn carriages in NYC, I created a brochure that contained information on some of the most horrific carriage accidents that have happened recently. Additionally, I mentioned an alternative option to horse-drawn carriages - electric carriages. Furthermore, I included how citizens of New York could help ban the practice by emailing certain city council members I mentioned in my brochure.
For our project, Shelter Kits for Ukraine, we put together 12 large hygiene packages, consisting of products such as toothbrushes, wipes, soap and shampoo. After connecting with the Ukrainian Red Cross, we shipped the boxes to a contact person at the head office, who is in charge of emergency response. The Ukrainian Red Cross will be using the hygiene products in areas affected by the destruction of the Kakhovka dam, which flooded agricultural land and dozens of villages and towns. Thousands of people on the river were evacuated from their homes and will benefit greatly from the products we sent. We hope to continue raising money and sending aid parcels throughout the next year and pass the project on to future generations at UWC Red Cross Nordic.
Our neighborhoods are built on top of a fragile environment. Streams run between our houses. Lakes are surrounded by roads. Most people do not think where their waste might end up, they have little or no knowledge of the effect that our urban waste has on the life of our beautiful streams. Our salmon, trout and bird life are directly damaged by this and our team thought of how they could possibly change this behavior. Clear stencils that show where the drains flow are needed. This will help people to pause and not throw their waste on the ground. [Estimated completion in August.]
There is a tremendous need for wheelchairs and for people who can fix them in my home country of Eswatini. As part of this project, we bought 5 wheelchairs and donated them to The Red Cross Eswatini-in my hometown Manzini. The Red Cross then donated them to individuals who needed those wheelchairs. One of them was an elderly man who had no legs but had never owned a wheelchair before. The Little Lamp also collaborated with a local orthopaedic doctor in teaching 2 gentlemen theoretical and practical skills of assembling and repairing new and old wheelchairs. They have a great potential to get jobs or become self-employed. Eventually we repaired three wheelchairs which were initially in extremely poor conditions.
Comforce is a Raspberry Pi-based device, which is a hardware- and software-based solution. It uses two machine learning models - a linear and a logistic regression model. Along with the data that it receives from the moisture, pH, NPK, and temperature sensors, the device is able to determine the quality and maturity of compost. Then, it returns an intuitive quality score which is a numeric value between 0 and 100, and the maturity stage, which is either mesophilic, thermophilic, or cured. Comforce also provides a prescription to improve the quality of compost if its quality score falls below a certain threshold.
To lessen the issue of political polarization, the Pleasant Politics Party developed an initiative of promoting civil discourse and guiding the youth in conducting productive conversations in heated situations. The lesson that we created involved middle school students and provided an interactive environment. From the lessons, the students noted that the lesson would translate into “real world situations”, and help them “more effectively communicate and use the skills (they) learned in conversation.” To increase our impact, we created a website with resources and our lesson plan. Additionally, our lesson was shared with teachers across Westchester County.
As a student myself, I found it difficult to find Faroese educational material on human rights. This language barrier makes it harder to relate to and get the youth engaged in human rights issues on the Faroes. My project is therefore a small book that explains the 30 human rights articles from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. My book is still a work in progress. However, I have contacted the Ministry of Education on the Faroe Islands and they want to support my project on educating the Faroese youth more on human rights. The current plan is to have the books enrolled in schools this fall.
In our project, we would like to protect the medicinal trees in our community in Bamenda, Cameroon, which are currently facing extinction due to deforestation and bush burning. We will plant 500 trees and distribute them around our community. We will also educate community members about the value of medicinal trees. By planting these trees, we will provide homes for animals that rely on them for a habitat, fight climate change, and offer health benefits to the community.
To counter the banning of LGBTQ+ books in American schools, I created a writing competition called Queer Writers of America that encouraged queer middle and high schoolers to make their voices heard. The contest received 53 entries, from New York to California to India. The students who entered ranged from 7th through 12th grade, and represented a variety of queer identities. I plan to run the contest again, as everyone who I contacted for feedback said they would be interested in entering again. To read the entries, click the link here.
Food Insecurity and Autism Awareness (FIAA)
For my project, I chose to create a pamphlet articulating the issue of feeding aversions among children with autism, and providing treatment options as well as resources to tackle this issue. This pamphlet aims to serve as a concise resource, and aims to benefit hundreds of unknowledgeable families once it is approved and implemented in June. The progress and impact of this resource will concretely be recorded by a google form I have set up that allows families to give constructive feedback toward the information present on the handout.
With the rise of banning LGBTQIA+ education within the states, I set out to create a website that educates people -- specifically youth who are queer --- about the LGBTQ community. On this website, I recorded different news and media relating to the LGBTQ community. I was able to create and upload an educational video about the LGBTQ community as a whole. For the “Your Stories” section of my website, I was able to collect 4 submissions so far. I am currently running an ad campaign on Instagram for my website that was able to gather 16 likes so far.
In order to eliminate the stigma and stereotypes surrounding sex trafficking, I focused on education in my school and community. I taught 58 sophomore students about the dangers of trafficking. Following these lessons, I led a brainstorming activity with ways they could help combat sexual exploitation. This inspired them to launch a Human Rights Week at my school. The second component of my project is a film screening that will take place in October at the White Plains YWCA building. This will be a community event to teach others about sexual exploitation through the film Very Young Girls.
Opioid overdoses are quickly becoming one of the leading causes of death in America as fentanyl and other dangerous opioids are becoming more widespread. My project aims to increase the accessibility of Narcan, the drug that almost instantly reverses the effects of an overdose, in schools. For my project I will 1) advocate to the NYS Dept. of Education and Dept. of Health for a policy that requires all school districts to carry Narcan and 2) connect NYS high schools with the Opioid Overdose Prevention program, which supplies NYS schools with free Narcan doses.
Our class worked together this year with The Changemaker Project to first, gain knowledge of issues affecting our world, then, to consider our own environment and finally, to decide on the most impactful work that we could produce together. We decided to create a wall mural that would be displayed on a concrete wall as you enter the school campus. We worked together to create a design that would exemplify the inner striving we have for diversity and equity in our education in a visible way. This mural was a powerful statement for us and a successful gift back to their school and our community. Thank you to everyone for making this possible!
Due to the continuous bullying encountered daily especially by the young (that is children in our community), my team thought of helping the situation by creating awareness. This problem is greatly affecting the young in our community as:
-It is making studies difficult.
-It is a limiting factor in the social and interaction skills of the children.
-It is causing loss of self-esteem of the victims.
-It might grow to a dangerous or complex form in the future which may be difficult to then remedy.
-It can affect the children when grown up in their homes as they might bring in their experiences into their home. This will not only affect their spouse but their children and even those around them. My team aims at creating awareness of bullying through platforms such as schools and radio stations in our community.
2 million kids in Kenya can’t receive public education because they cannot afford the $1000 it takes to graduate high school. Education is vital to one’s future, thus, to help this crisis, I founded the Spike for Scholars Volleyball tournament which would serve as a fundraiser for scholarships to give to kids in this situation. I surpassed my goal of $1000 (enough to send one kid through K-12) and raised $1600 through this tournament. I also set-up two tutoring sessions with 7th graders at Facing the Future School in order to give them free lessons in reading and writing.
After hearing shocking statistics, I knew I needed to educate youth about teen dating violence. I created an original 1 day lesson plan that addresses mental/emotional abuse and digital abuse that includes videos, conversation starters, and group activities. I taught my lesson plan to a sophomore health class of 25 students. With generous donations I created professional handouts and purchased silicone wristbands. My lesson has been implemented into my high school curriculum and will be taught each year and it is posted on my website! Awareness will also be spread through the club I created at my school!
To combat the lack of education surrounding preventative women’s health, I have designed and published a website dedicated to being an accessible resource to anybody looking for information. I sent out my website to 8 women’s shelters in Westchester, NY, and Stamford and Norwalk, Connecticut in hopes that the women there will be able to have an easier time knowing where to go if they need access to preventative health services. So far, the website has been a success and my contacts at the shelters did not have any feedback for me, but I look forward to expanding this resource.
I am a strong believer in putting a stop to animal testing. My original idea was to work with plant DNA. This idea was a little too unrealistic, so I turned my aim towards spreading awareness of the issue. From the donation money I received, I ordered a couple hundred cosmetic samples from companies that don’t conduct animal testing and distributed them throughout my school community. I created a petition and printed out a QR code that people could scan to learn about the issue of animal testing. I was able to impact the views of around 50 people.
Empower through Plant Power’s aim is to promote education on gardening, education on healthy food preparation, and education on healthy food assistance for youth in food-insecure communities. This initiative aims to give elementary schools lessons on gardening and give children free gardening kits. With every 7 dollars donated for gardening kits, a child learns about critical food concepts and develops a deeper understanding of agricultural practices. Help us educate youth today. Please consider donating.
The Baby Mobile worked with a local organization, Neighbor’s Link, which advocates for the accessibility to resources for low-socio economic families. While contacting Daniela Valdovinos, the Neighbor’s Link coordinator, we organized a supply drive to collect baby items to support these families. We assembled fifty Baby Mobile-branded reusable bags with the Student’s Advocating for Gender Equality club at Byram Hills. With our community’s support, we successfully reached around 40 mothers and children at Neighbor’s Link in Mount Kisco, NY. Daniela has since created an Instagram post on the organization’s official page in English and Spanish and encourages our annual return!
We want to create a more sustainable way of living for homeless people in New York City. We want to do this by helping out with preexisting fundraising and spreading the word around our school district using flyers and posters. We think this will be very beneficial because it is very easy for people to bring in donations and we are going to motivate people to donate by speaking to kids in our school and the elementary school. As we know homelessness is a very talked-about subject we think the path we are taking with our project isn't very common. We think it's original as we are trying to shine a light on the unfairness people that work multiple jobs face.
Westchester county has the highest wealth disparity in the country. Many people don't have access to food and aren't able to reach the locations in which they are trying to help. We decided to host a food drive in our school to raise as much food for these families as possible. We came up with the idea of having a thermometer to track the progress of the drive and motivate our peers to donate. We were looking to raise 800 units of food, one from each student and faculty member. We will then take the food raised and disperse to families who have a hard time traveling to food pantries. The examiner news organization featured us in an article about our progress. The article talked about our efforts to fight food insecurity as well as spread awareness about the problem to people in Westchester.
Westchester has some of the greatest inequality in the country, but the wealthy residents are ignorant of this, causing them to oppose beneficial government policies. I used my passion for videography to create a documentary that will hopefully combat this ignorance. I interviewed politicians, nonprofit officials, and those living in poverty to show the true extent of the economic issues in my county. The documentary will be distributed on youtube and other social media to educate the community. I will also provide my film to local nonprofits and professors; they plan on using it for educational, outreach, and fundraising purposes.
This past summer I volunteered in Costa Rica with Siempre Amigos and discovered the problem of unstable housing. Inspired, I sought a way to make my own contribution to address this problem. I prepared a lesson for two 7th-grade Spanish classes of 55 students. The lesson included pen pal letters, a perspective-taking activity, and an interactive lecture on the problem of unstable housing in Costa Rica. Additionally, students made bracelets that we sold making a total of $320. All funds will be sent to Siempre Amigos to complete the changing rooms for the soccer fields in Lorena, Costa Rica.
Hunger is a global problem, and is seen in kindergartens and schools of impoverished regions in Tavush, Armenia. Given that families of low economic backgrounds are unable to provide enough nutrition for their children, this may lead to low performance, decreased concentration, and poor health among said students. Hence, Dili-Spouts aims to break this cycle by cultivating and supporting a culture of self-sustaining nutrition cycles at schools and kindergartens. By building rooftop gardens, implementing a combined sustainability, cultivation, and nutrition curriculum, and carrying out workshops, we aim to help these kids in need. Help us make a change, help us sprout!