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Pool It!

Making a difference one carpool at a time.

Photo of Vanessa Velasco
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Explain your project idea (2,000 characters)

My project idea is to create a platform in which a carpooling program is initially set up within my school community. Commuters in general travel quite the distance from home, and with choosing to attend a school in another city means a new environment with new people. Students mostly rely on rides from their parents to and from school since they are not yet able to drive until junior year of high school. While students who commute to school have parents that are able to drive them in most cases, commuting can become a hassle if one does not have others to carpool with. In terms of resources, I personally did not have any when I first started to commute to my current high school. I feel as if this problem also occurs at different schools and even work environments as well. I believe it is best to implement this carpooling program when a prospective student is initially applying to a school. Including a page with only a few questions gaining information about whether the person will be commuting or not, the area in which they live, and if they are in need of someone to carpool with. With collecting the data and sorting it out, eventually, people will be able to connect with others to possibly carpool with before school. This sort of inventory of information can also become helpful in other ways, always there to refer back to in the future. I believe my idea is the easiest way for everyone involved, for one to find another to carpool with. Carpooling benefits the earth, alleviates burdens and excessive driving. My idea adds a community approach, where relationships are formed through carpooling as well. My idea also holds the potential to grow and impact other communities, not just those at schools. In terms of expanding, creating programs within companies, for instance, can add to the already existing options for transportation to and from work that makes commuting to work easier.

Who are the beneficiaries? (1,000 characters)

The beneficiaries are everyone involved, whether that be commuters or administrators. Commuters save gas money, as well as share driving responsibilities which alleviate driving stresses. Administrators are provided with an inventory that can prove helpful in reference to in the future. In a way, they are helping themselves by helping others. Also, the environment is even benefited with one less car on the road. As a result of everything, a network is created among communities. A network where people may not initially know anybody in the environment they are new to but are still able to connect with others in similar situations. Situations consisting that of commuting a great distance to school and could most definitely benefit from having someone to carpool with.

How is your idea unique? (1,000 characters)

My idea is unique in that it does not exist at my school currently. I can not speak for all schools and the programs they offer, but with talking to friends who also commute to their current school they found themselves at one point in time in the same situation as I did their first years of commuting. Being able to work closely with my current school administration as a student is an advantage I have, as well as being able to relate and act from personal experiences. Undoubtedly, there are companies where carpooling with others is a service offered, yet most come with having to pay a fee and driving with a stranger. My idea adds a community approach, where relationships are formed through carpooling and people are benefited in more ways than one. Working with another, for example, through school programs makes everything so much easier, so much more personal. This personal aspect includes a common understanding of the responsibility to be shared and efforts needed to be made.

Idea Proposal Stage (choose one)

  • Initial Design: I am exploring the idea, gathering the inspiration and information I need to test it with real users.

Tell us more about your organization/company (1 sentence and website URL)

A carpool community uniting people while benefiting the earth. Website URL:

Expertise in sector

  • 3-5 years

Organization Filing Status

  • No, but we are a formal initiative through an accelerator, hub, or other entity.

In 3-4 sentences, tell us the inspiration or story that encouraged you to start this project.

I found myself in a dilemma when my carpool buddy transferred to another school before my junior year. I was left without a carpool buddy and the burden of commuting weighed heavily on my parent’s shoulders. It was then that I wished my high school had resources I was able to access in which I would be able to connect with another student living in the same area as I did and also in need of someone to carpool with for the upcoming year.

Please explain how your selected topic areas are influenced, in the local context of your project (1,000 characters).

Peace is found within the individual's my project is impacting. An inner peace that is attained by confirmation that the right decision was made to commute to school because of the help now available in the form of a carpooling network. Peace is also made within families settings, as carpooling alleviates stresses usually translating to fights as a result of taking out these stresses on one another. Prosperity is the case for all, as effective actions are taken. Using the existing resource of registration, and simply adding as much as another page with a couple of questions is the most efficient way of gaining information from people to eventually connect them with one another if they opt to do so. The Planet is benefitted by people carpooling as the ever changing environmental conditions are degrading. Carpooling is eco-friendly, and a contributing factor to already existing conservation efforts.

Who will work alongside your organization in the project idea? (1,000 characters)

My school community will be introduced and eventually engaged with my project idea. Simply pitching my idea and potential program to them is how they will be initially involved. I hope my idea will make an immense impact wherein the near future my exact or similar program is put in place. Working closely with my school administration will hopefully result in faster development as I have personal ties.

Please share some of the top strengths identified in the community which your project will serve (500 characters)

My school community is extremely supportive and administration is always looking for ways in which the school can improve. In the past, I have only made comments here and there to faculty members about the project idea I have just recently developed into an actual plan. Even if my project idea is not chosen, I feel as if I will still pursue the idea of installing a carpool program at my school even after I graduate.

Geographic Focus

My school community for now. I hope that my idea can eventually impact other communities as well.

How many months are required for the project idea? (500 characters)

This project idea can be implemented at any time. The first step would involve pitching the idea to my school. I can only control so much and the future of my project idea relies on what my school decides. It may take a lot of time to receive a definite answer since summer is when school is out, so because of this I would give a maximum time of twelve months. I feel as if that allows enough time for a response and constructive criticisms.

Did you submit this idea to our 2017 BridgeBuilder Challenge? (Y/N)

  • No


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Great initiative!

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