As a sophomore in the engineering college, I tend to rely heavily on my logical/engineering mindset to solve problems. Most of the world’s problems that were introduced in class did not have a simple solution that can be obtained by using an engineer’s mindset. This opened my eyes to see how much we need other people with different ways of thinking to help solve this world’s problems. Problems like increasing world hunger and the decreasing amount of people able to work are examples of problems that require multiple types of people to solve. My project is community outreach in south Bethlehem focused on college and higher education. I want to see how implementing a way to spur creativity in youth can influence them to have more interest in higher education. I feel like connecting with the youth through social media and other similar technological products can impact the lives and careers. With that being said since I am very big on social media myself, I feel the need to positively impact the youth around myself.
When looking at south Bethlehem as a community I observed it is not as well off economically and socially as other surround communities/suburbs. Since I also live in a community that is very similar to south Bethlehem, I also experienced a similar program in middle school. Although the program I experienced was more focused on early college recruitment it still had an inspirational aspect to it. Since LVSIF is not a program aimed to recruit I feel as if its more openminded. This makes it the perfect program to test some of my ideas and to get data based on them. I want to figure out what is the lowest cost, easiest and most efficient way to inspire young minds to do great things. Many of the people who live in south Bethlehem and similar communities do not have extensive resources readily available for them to use to improve themselves. Alas many of them have access to the internet which has many resources like khan academy and Coursera. The first step would be to educate everyone about these resources and to install some motivation to start using them. For example, my motivation to start using khan academy was to improve my sat score to get into the college that I wanted. From that first step, we would show how much the world is changing and how they can all prepare for the upcoming changes.
A great way that I have learned to achieve is to visualize the finished product/outcome. The desired outcome that I visualized is that everyone who receives a presentation will understand more about college. Since the children are still in middle school, we should introduce them to the expatiations of college. When they are aware of the expiations it will enable them to prepare much better throughout the rest of middle school and high school. We should also focus on certain skills that are linked to success in college and that traditional public schools do not teach. Some of these skills that I can think off the top of my head are note-taking, email etiquette and entrepreneurial mindset. Many of these students may have not even heard of some of these skills or may just be weak in these areas. Identifying these skills as areas where potential future college students should be preparing would make pursuing a higher education easier. Another skill that I feel is good for college is networking with fellow students and professors alike. Focusing on how social media can benefit your networking skills would be a great topic to present.
Another major problem that is affecting the world is the lack of eyeglasses for people who need them. This issue is usually concentrated in the developing world. The example that was given in class is Kenya where there is barely one optometrist per one million people. Although I am not in GSIF I do have a few underdeveloped ideas on ways to improve this problem that can affect every aspect of an individual’s life. The first idea that I have is to create programs for students around the world studying optometry to come to places like Kenya under the supervision of a respected person in the field and provide appointments for people who cannot afford them. This idea only helps out with one aspect of the problem. The second idea that I have is for production. I suggest we expand the problem to all engineers. Whoever can find a sustainable solution wins a cash prize.
In conclusion, there are many ways to approach this project. Using my prior experiences and trends we can figure out what exactly to focus on in the project. Once we find the best topics to focus on, we would have to have a very efficient and easy for them to grasp. We would also figure out the best way to convey that material. Once we have our first meeting with our professor, I am sure the goal of the project will become much clearer. Overall, I am excited about how social media will tie into to project and how much we can integrate our interests.