TWO EDSMEN PRESENT THEIR IDEAS AT ACCELERATE 2019: CITIZENS MAKE CHANGE
On Thursday, two of our Edsmen were among 28 individuals who were selected to present their visions to make our community a better place at Cleveland Leadership Center's Accelerate 2019: Citizens Make Change. The Cleveland Leadership Center strives to educate, connect, inspire and engage leaders of all ages to positively contribute to their community and affect change. Their pitch competition, Accelerate, allows individuals to share their ideas to improve the Northeast Ohio community and have the opportunity to win up to $5,000 to bring their idea to life.
Under the Community Change category in partnership with Oswald Companies and Westfield,
Andre Holland '19 (bottom photo) pitched his idea, "Just to Be Heard!" to redesign telephone booths around the city of Cleveland into creatively designed spaces where people in neighborhoods with a high homeless population can share their stories. Andre's pitch focused on the issues that society faces regarding depriving people of having a voice and being heard. His idea to redesign telephone booths with built-in cameras and audio equipment will hopefully encourage people to share their stories so that they can be shared out with others to increase empathy and compassion. "This idea was sprung by a profound experience I had on a service trip I took to San Francisco," says Andre. "On the trip, I saw that there was a need for others to be given the chance to share their experiences. After listening to the story of a man named Odi, it pushed me to commit to this idea. The reason why society dehumanizes the homeless often lies in the hands of what people think they know. By providing a chance for people to drop their assumptions and actually see and hear who these people really are could offer a total change to our communities."
Under the Health & Wellness category in partnership with Cleveland Clinic, Lex Briggs '19 (top photo) presented his idea, "Divorce Talk" to create a website for children, supervised by medical professionals, featuring text and voice chat rooms where medical staff can identify and address issues affecting children while helping anti-social children open up and establish friendships. "I wanted to create something that could help others speak out about their feelings or situations so that they can find a community that could help them feel better and not feel guilty, depressed, or different. Reflecting on servant leadership, I wanted to take the lead on something that could help others understand what children who come from divorced families are going through," says Lex. "To me, anyone can make a change in society, whether big or small. At Accelerate, we could share our ideas and they were heard by judges who gave us great feedback and helpful input. It was a privilege to speak as a high school student among so many mature professionals. Being able to speak from the heart and meet others who have pretty creative ideas for bettering our community makes me want to come back and do something like this again next year. Accelerate was an opportunity where anyone from different ages and backgrounds could share their passions in creating ideas to help our community. This experience proved how generations are reacting to problems and are trying to find the solutions."
Congratulations to Andre and Lex on presenting their ideas at Accelerate, exemplifying servant leadership, and showing how our Edsmen strive to to help improve our communities every day.
Photos from Twitter @cleveleads