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76 Students + 45 Minutes = Flash Research

76 Ninth & Tenth graders have joined together to help OpenIDEO.

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76 Ninth & Tenth graders have joined together to help OpenIDEO's research community make an impact. This is raw info taken from those students and the process they went through to get it. We are hoping to increase awareness here and promote more opportunities for the entire Ideo community through our lenses for learning and change. We hope to engage over the next few weeks in constructive collaborative conversations.


We first introduced the kids to the opportunity to really make an impact with their work. Then we played the introduction video and warmed them up with a empathy question asking them to write down 3 words (possibly emotions) that they felt while watching the video. Results that came up frequently were; family, opportunity, hope, education & growth.

We followed up by giving them 8 minutes to reflect on research contributions that had already been posted (about 97 of them). This gave them an opportunity to identify different lenses for which they could then explore the topic. They were intrigued by; child empowerment, student financial problems and how people view wealth. 

This led student to perform their own 10 minute flash research opportunities. They could go in any direction they wanted. Sometime they ranted other times they went to the inspiration boards that had been continually cultivated over the course of the day. Below you can find the RAW / UN-EDITED work that they produced. I suggest reading it (some of it is phenomenal!). Students ended with new questions that we will work on for our next flash research project next Monday! We can't wait! We look forward to your feedback!



Blake Buchtinec – Share Your Story

In my research I have found that only 17 states require financial literacy classes in High school. Only 5 states have the financial class as a main course. I have noticed that many high schools in GA, do not have a financial class. I think that a financial class would better help students understand how to use money and how the economy works. At my school Mount Vernon Presbyterian school we do not offer a financial class for students. If we had a class if we had a class like this we could learn how to manage our money in college and make better decisions on what is needed and what I want. 

 Rebecca Fowler – Share Your Story

My parents got divorced when I was younger and my mom was always the “bread winner” of the family, so when she moved out it left my dad relying on child support and his little company to get him through. Today my mom is still doing fine, and I live with her because it is an easier lifestyle than the one my dad leads. My dad is in debt, living paycheck to paycheck and refuses to change anything or take anything that could possibly help him. His pride will be the death of him. 

Akim Abdiyev – Surprise Us 

In USA a great chunk of its economy is based on bank loans. People buy houses taking bank loans, study in college taking student loans, buy cars etc. And people based on their income are given a specific time period to pay back their loans which most of the time is more than enough. People in poor African countries obviously don’t have this system and they are not given opportunity to loan money from government even though they can pay it back later. The question is how? Well, those people need electricity and water in their houses, instruments and some transport. If they were given all of this, it would make their life 

Robin Li

There’s a guy named Frank Martinez, and his childhood was short, however when he was became a father, his first child at 16, and married another girl when he was 18, and had three more kids before she left and his grandparents took them in. Meanwhile, with not much honest work around to do, Martinez started stealing and dealing drugs. At one point, he made it two hours away to the post-industrial town of Pueblo, and shacked up with his brother, who was working construction. But with a criminal record and no GED, jobs were scarce, and he retreated to the familiar.There’s a guy named Frank Martinez, and his childhood was short, however when he was became a father, his first child at 16, and married another girl when he was 18, and had three more kids before she left and his grandparents took them in. Meanwhile, with not much honest work around to do, Martinez started stealing and dealing drugs. At one point, he made it two hours away to the post-industrial town of Pueblo, and shacked up with his brother, who was working construction. But with a criminal record and no GED, jobs were scarce, and he retreated to the mch easier and they would start working and paying back their loans. They just need proper conditions to make it happen. If there are no jobs in that area than loan can be given to the community of that area so they collectively can create a job structure like building a farm that will benefit everybody. The most important is to give people opportunity and then solutions will be found.

Brady Westmoreland – Share Your Story 

Growing up in a small middle class home me and my sister were shielded from the miss fortune of poverty. For myself it was confusing going to a public school and hear the stories of whole families living in small apartments, I thought to myself they were only for single people or small families. Then seeing the beaten down houses on my way home on the bus was a new experience for me as well. growing up for my sister she was in complete denial of poverty and though everyone was as fortunate as we were. My biggest thing is kids and people need to know more about the situations of people and then they would be more willing to donate or make a difference. 

Mary May Schuessler – Surprise Us

I researched about how sometimes we grow up and not to really know what money is about besides knowing how to spend it!! Growing up we don’t really know how money works, and not knowing how this whole financial system really works. I feel like here, in the United States, we know how to spend money better than how to save it. The other topic I researched on was, gender equality efforts combine with technology crusade. Lots of people agree that “wiring the world” and “gender equality” are two critical issues and an effort to stabilize economics and bring food, water, and peace to people worldwide. I think is focusing on how supposedly men make all the money, and they have all the power. In fact, no that isn’t true women can work hard too and have a family on their own and support them on their own. 

Ian Kohl 

In the world today many countries don’t have the right supplies to make their people thrive. Many countries including the U.S. have given financial aid to africa. Actually over 500 billion to be accurate. The african republic is the least wealthy organization. Finding clean water is a huge problem for the African Republic and every who lives in the area. The richest country is Qatar and its by far. They crush the African Republic in revenue and really don’t give anything back to many. I guess it has worked out for them so far but we have to realize that we are all human and even though you are doing fine, your neighbor next to you could be much worse off.

Marquez Bembry – Identifying Success 

To me this seems like a very complex question to answer do to the fact that we don’t know for sure if those other communities want our help. This also makes use open eyes and say we will need to get permission from whoever their leader is. In fact what if some people enjoy the way they are living and don’t want want to change. Then they are staying in what they believe in. What if while trying to make a financial empower to those in need does not make the impact that we were expecting .

Griffin Westbrook – Try a New Lens 

In the research i found out some ways that can help us empower other people. On this website there were 50 different ways to help other people and most of them we pretty good ideas. I thought that the best one was number 47 and it said, Give a helping hand. Whether it’s helping someone who fell to get back up, or picking up something that spilled in the supermarket, it shows you care, which is empowering. I thought that this is a great example of how to help people in a mental way.

Ethan Mangum

Circle of Poverty is explained by the cycle of poverty has been described as a phenomenon where poor families become trapped in poverty for generations. Because they have no or limited access to critical resources, such as education and financial services, subsequent generations are also impoverished.Top reasons people are in debt They want to keep up appearances. They fear change. They’re addicted to stuff.In other words, they’ve bought the myth that you are what you own, and they simply can’t get enough. They dont know Everything we do around Dave’s office revolves around helping people make a plan with their money. Every day, people are making the decision to get out of debt and change their lives. They’re ready to sacrifice and get rid of their fear of change or their addiction to stuff.

Alan Harris – Helping the Poor

Helping the poor I think that this is a very good question but the problem today is that most of the 1% who is wealthy is not will to help the lower communities at all. Im not saying it is bad or anything but thats just the way it is right now. The reason I like this question though is that it is expanding the horizons of the subject and opening up more ways to solve this problem. A way that I have always thought we can solve this is that we get not the few people that have lots of money to give but the not so wealthy but not middle class to give just a small amount so that it goes to education systems. So that we can financial help parent to get their kids through early grades in life and maybe even later years with a good education. 

Spencer Meadows – Helping the Poor

The wealthier communities can help the less fortunate communities with their financial struggles. If you’re a wealthy man in America making a six figure salary, and you see a homeless man on the street begging for money, you have two options; you either give him what he wants or you keep walking. There are many cases where upper class people will just straight up ignore homeless people or those in extreme poverty because they are either afraid of them or they think that they will not use it wisely. This is a problem, because this is the case a lot of the time. People don’t trust them a lot of the time because they think of them as people that don’t have anything to lose.

Maggie Wilcox – Identify Success

A large contribution to our crippling economy is the unemployment rate in the United States. 5.6% of Americans are unemployed, leaving many of them struggling to support their families. The economy of the US adds to the perils of those without work by raising prices of the basic necessities that all Americans need. The Section 8 Housing Assistance Program helps struggling americans to find homes to live in and schools to attend. People in these homes get help finding jobs and getting through high school and hopefully, college. 

Chayton Mowrey

We might use the powers of communication to financially empower those who need it most by researching why we discard our food when we don’t eat it and people in other countries are starving. The reason for starvation in most other countries is lack of usable land to grow crops. Another reason is drought or no water. The united states has a lot of land and resources to grow crops. If there was a way to transport the food from here to a country like africa, it would cost a lot of money and it would not be worth it. Children are the most affected by hunger around the world. Since they are growing, their bodies need a good source of food and water to develop properly.

Carson Smith

Thousands of teens come out of high school with no financial education. Did you know that only 17 states require high school financial education. Teens will come out of school and take loans from a bank without even knowing what loans are. This hurts the economy in unimaginable ways. This will cause teens to go through the rest of their lives with bad credit, debt, etc. Did you know the current student loan debt is 1,256,969,992,167 and is still on the rise. Financial education is a very key part in the economies future success.Carson SmithThousands of teens come out of high school with no financial education. Did you know that only 17 states require high school financial education. Teens will come out of school and take loans from a bank without even knowing what loans are. This hurts the economy in unimaginable ways. This will cause teens to go through the rest of their lives with bad credit, debt, etc. Did you know the current student loan debt is 1,256,969,992,167 and is still on the rise. Financial education is a very key part in the economies future success. 

Winston Fox

I think communities are very important to solving world problems. Multiple minds are always better than one. Everybody goes through hardships, but its those who can’t get through the hardships that need help from others. The government won’t help them, so people must come together. In this story, I read about how Hilaria is afraid for her children, and also afraid to take a loan from the bank for financial support because she doesn’t understand how it works, and the idea of more debt scares her. As it does with thousands of others who are afraid of help from the banks because they are frightened by the idea.

Alex Smith – Identify Success 

I researched the atlanta community food bank. Founded in 1979, ACFB procures over 45 million pounds of food and groceries each year and distributes it to more than 600 nonprofit partner agencies serving families and individuals in 29 metro Atlanta and north Georgia counties. some of these agencies are Food pantries, community kitchens, child care centers, night shelters, and senior centers. In turn, these partner agencies provide food and other critical resources for low-income Georgians who suffer from hunger and food insecurity. I have volunteered at the food bank for service hours, I was given the task of sorting food that was going to be distributed.

Cameron Snow

Poverty is a huge issue in not only America but in the world. Poverty is unique because it everywhere you look in the world and is local. One of the main places where poverty resides is Africa and one issue concerning poverty in Africa is polluted water which is a cause of poverty. In one article I found a solution to this is to use solar powered machines to cleanse the water.

Randi Lawings – Identifying Success 

My first question is how do we educate everyone who is not aware of financial services. After watching the video about Financial empowerment i figured that people need to know about it first before engaging in the process. I think by using the community to spread the word is a great idea because in 2015 everybody is connected some type of way whether its from social media or family members, so getting the word out will not be a challenge. After everyone gets the idea of Finance then the process of empowering will begin. Not only will this help their lives but it will help their community get out of poverty. 

Riley McDonald – Share your Story

As the youngest of four children, making a total of six in the family, it has always been hard to balance the money. My father is a real estate broker which means he makes big bucks and is the only one in the family currently who gets the paychecks as my oldest brother Spencer moved out almost ten years ago. My father, along with working, is a marathon runner and he runs for charity multiple times, one to raise awareness about hunger was yesterday. My father is wealthy and he uses his wealth to pay for my grandmother’s bills, who lives across the street from us, and her apartment as well. He also used his money to help get my aunt and uncle out of debt and bought them a condo for them and their four children along with my grandparents to live with them. 

Cami Mclelland – Step into Someone’s Shoes

In my research, stepping into someone's shoes, i found that 1 in 4 people in schools are bullied. Children who are bullied are typically at higher risk of having depression which can eventually lead them to have suicidal thoughts.Bullying, whether it is physical, emotional or social based, has a negative effect. The video i found on youtube illustrated how our actions can impact someone's life negatively or positively. Have you ever put yourself in someone else's shoes? Have you thought about the things you have said or done, and how it might impact someone's life? Have you ever thought of how they might feel?

Clementina Eterovic: Try a New Lens

Now a days poverty is a huge problem worldwide. It horrifying to see how many people are homeless in the streets when we could be helping them. We should start making more shelters with people who are homeless and are in the need for help. In these shelters people should be taught how to start living a new improved life. They should learn the basics on how to get a job and pay bills and taxes. These shelters should help bring people back on their feet. If more people have homes and jobs the amount of poverty will be reduced.

Olivia Vaughn – Identify Success

By hearing other people’s stories you can learn how they grew financially. By researching people’s success factors you can figure out how to use their success and turn it into a way to make you successful. Most people in the world are unemployed. By helping them get jobs they are able to become financially stable. You can also help kids get into schools so they can get a good education so they can go to college and later get a job and become financially stable. We need to find a way to get people jobs.

Claire Jarrell – Identify Success

People tend to fall out of financial security because of: Low salary, lack of skills and technology, Unhealthiness or diseases, Inability to access to resources such as information, technical assistances, etc., and No on-going education. So I think we get people educated with free classes that teach things that will help with getting better jobs and get people able move on from poor paying jobs to higher paying jobs. These classes should also teach people about how to keep their finances in good conditions. 

Will Wilcox – Surprise Us 

I want all people to be equal and everyone have the same amount of money as everyone else. I hope we can all combine together to make a good happy place where no one is poorer or richer than anyone else.I want to help people live their lives how they want to not how they have too. I hope people will want to help people get a good education and live in a good house. I dont want to have people living in nice huge houses and then people living in a cardboard box I just dont think its fair because sometimes they can't help it.

Morgan Kleber – Share your Story

For my personal experience I have worked with the community a great amount. I have raised money and donated on my own over a couple thousand dollars to Grady hospital. A lot of us don't realize how fortunate and lucky we are. The are many people in this world that don’t have a shelter or food on their table every night. We as a community do not do enough about this. I Personally volunteered at the Atlanta food bank to help make a difference. Poverty is a huge issue and people don't realize how good they have it. 

Sydney Garde – Helping the Poor

Wealth determines a lot of things about a community. It can cause a community to be strong as a whole, or weak and broken. When the wealthy are faced with those who have less money, they are often scared. All of us tend to stereotype everyone that crosses our path. But wealth or lack of, should not be a reason to stereotype. Most people stereotype poor people with drug or alcohol abuse, but this can also be a stereotype for the wealthy because they have more money to spend. I see this as a double standard. Both wealthy and not wealthy can fall into bad habits, but those less wealthy tend to get called out for it more. We need to all understand the fact that we are all humans and you will find people who do right and wrong in both categories.

Mitch Lutes – Identify Success

People everywhere are affected by debt. One tool that these people mostly do not see is their community. A good way to make use of your community is a paluwagan. A paluwagan is a Filipino money scheme that involves a money pool by a group of people that is given to a chosen person once every month. The person changes every month and the people end up making money. If people saw this opportunity and took it, they would make more money than they originally had and their community will also get the same benefit. A paluwagan is a good way to use your community to fight debt.

Colton Matovina – Try a New Lens 

how poverty feelsI read about a family that was in debt and always getting letters about losing card credit and direct debit. It was about how they never claimed benefits but probably needed to. It was hard to even go the hospitals or schools because they didn't have the money. It explains all about like a stone in your stomach like always being stuck and not being able to get food. This is an unrelatable topic since i haven't been in a family that is in poverty. i have always been able to go to the doctor. i dont have to worry about going to school. i feel like there is almost anger with being below anybody.


Gabby Wilson – Share Your Story

From when my mom first started having kids she started to have financial trouble. She was losing control of her financial stability as my siblings and I grew older and needed more things. My dad had to get two jobs one during the day and one at night. My mom had to start working again. It got really tough a couple of years ago when my sister and brother went to college and my other brother and I came into the private school system. The amount of debt we had was almost unbearable. Having to pay those college tuitions on top of two private school tuitions made my mom and dad struggle a lot. What made my mom kind of get back on track a little bit was getting a promotion in her job. Although my mom has a little bit more money we still struggle with financial control. 

Sherri Rettig – Identify Success

Tax credits and loan guarantees:The united states government should offer investment tax credit and federal loan guarantees for for financially empowering communities who need it. Federal support can help the financial risk of people in need of loan assistance. Everyone knows the US econ. is at risk or recession, therefore growth is slow and and jobs are low wage and part time. If communities convince the states to convince the government for loans therefore the economy can boost and empower the united states out of recession. Using lost cost renewable energy like wind would be the lowest cost over the long term. Right now the uneven recovery of the econ means extreme fragility. Therefore, federal loan guarantees are necessary for education, nutrition, and daily needs will help boost the economy. 

Bailey Lusk – Surprise Us 

After researching I have figured out that a lot of families continue to need things such as financial aid or various types of loans in order to put their kids through school. Many families spend their time trying to pay back the loans that they have received. Many families use financial aid depending on the income that they may have. I order for the families to receive financial aid they families must fit the categories given in order to receive financial aid or loans. You can apply for many different financial aids or loans such as grants, work-studies, and loans. Because of the families lifestyle it can be easy for them to apply for financial aid that’s why a lot of people need it. 

Charlie Henning – Identify Success 

Bill Gates is a very successful man who started the largest software business in the world. He started a company called Microsoft, and became one of the richest people in the world. Bill Gates started programming computers when he was 13 years old. In high school, he became friends with a guy named Paul Allen, who also liked to program computers. At the age of 15, they made 20,000 dollars off of a computer software called “Traf o Data”.

Anna Jarrell – Surprise Us

One way to help empower the financially insecure communities is to give them a boost into doing what they need to do. I research a website called “”. It is a website where you donate to a cause and by doing so, you get the chance to win a prize. A lot of people. If a popular person was to start a fundraiser to give the impoverished people a boost, it could make a difference. At the same time, people who are to receive the financial help should take a course on how you should use this money. A free website called Coursera offers a class on Personal and Family Financial Planning. By doing this it gives them the people a little to help them out and knowledge on how to use it. Nora 

Stout – Share My Story

In my church every year, we sponsor children in need through World Vision. World Vision helps by connecting the needy, with people who want to help/have the resources to help. We give the money, and know it is being given directly to the child that we chose to sponsor. This creates relationships, and is built on trust. We now have a relationship with the child we are helping, and we learn about them, and write them letters, and really grow to care about them. They become like a distant child/sibling. This really puts things into perspective for us. What would happen if my sister, brother, or even myself, were in need? I would want someone to help me, as we are helping these children. This also creates lots of trust. We trust that the organization is using our money as they said they would, The child trusts that we will fulfil our commitment and continue to give every month; they live off of this trust. World Vision says, “ It's not a handout, It's a hand up! We come alongside children, families, and communities to provide tools, training, and hope so they can become self-sufficient.” This isn’t just helping them for as long as we are sponsoring them, this is helping them for the rest of their lives. This is giving them the tools to help them help themselves. “Give a man a fish, he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he’ll never go hungry.” This experience shows me that the people in need are people, just like us. They have hobbies, families, friends, love, sadness, everything that makes us all human. And these people need help. This also has shown me that the world revolves around trust and relationships. Relationships are everything, trust is important, and a worthy cause can bring the whole community together. 

Kathleen Weber – Step into Someones Shoes 

The main reasons for debt are divorce, unemployment, gambling, reduced income, or poor money management. People will turn to advanced payday loans to try and pay off the debt. That is their first mistake. People who are in high debt get loans to pay off the debt but they are actually putting themselves in more debt. Its an endless cycle. You are in debt so you get a loan to pay the amount of money you owe, but now you owe that same amount of money to the bank. The whole point of getting the loan is to be able to pay off the debt, to whoever you owe it to but now you owe the same amount of money or more to the bank. So what are you going to do now? An easy solution to this problem is solve the original problems for debt i talked about in the first paragraph. With divorce try and split the money evenly between yourselves! Don’t be selfish. With unemployment, maybe don't drop the person but maybe assign t

Robin Li

There’s a guy named Frank Martinez, and his childhood was short, however when he was became a father, his first child at 16, and married another girl when he was 18, and had three more kids before she left and his grandparents took them in. Meanwhile, with not much honest work around to do, Martinez started stealing and dealing drugs. At one point, he made it two hours away to the post-industrial town of Pueblo, and shacked up with his brother, who was working construction. But with a criminal record and no GED, jobs were scarce, and he retreated to the familiar.hem a smaller job with a lower pay but don't cut them off completely. Gambling, I can't help you with that one, that seems like a personal problem. Poor money management, I would suggest getting someone to help you manage your money. I did the best research i could and I'm only in ninth grade but i hope these ideas help!

Nick Ensari – Identifying Success

The music industry is one of the hardest. It requires much skill. To be a successful musician, you must be scouted basically. There is one specific artist that shows a lot of skill and dedication. The rapper, Lil B, is one of the artists that all independent musicians should look up to. At the age of 14, he and some of his peers at his high school, started a rap group called, The Pack. The group recorded an EP and released two mixtapes. After a lot of hard work, they finally released their first album, Based Boys. They were signed by Jive Records but they were dropped by them following their album not meeting sales expectations. After this Lil B started his solo career. He started making and posting music on Youtube and he used MySpace to socialize and talk about his work. Once MySpace started declining in popularity, he moved to Twitter where he started growing rapidly. The Atlanta-based rapper, Soulja Boy, reached out to Lil B and Lil B was signed to Soulja’s SODMG. They released a mixtape together called, Pretty Boy Millionaires. Lil B started to grow rapidly and started the “Based” lifestyle. This is when you don’t care about what other people say or do that has to do with you, you just live your one life and do you. Lil B signed a multi-album deal with a privately owned company called Amalgam Digital in 2010. He has had a great career and it is still getting better. In 2011, he was named one of XXL’s 2011 Freshman, which is a great accomplishment. 

Savvon Delgado

This is a very good question because a lot of things are left questionable with colleges and the education of young people. My research say’s that Maryland is the only college who let’s the people who are given a scholarship to their school can leave and come back whenever to finish school. This means that if they aren’t as successful with the school the first time around they can come back later and get a degree and get a good career. If they don’t have a scholarship then they can’t come back whenever on scholarship, they will have to pay for their education like every other college. This highers the likely of people to be successful in life because of their education.

Carson Smith

Thousands of teens come out of high school with no financial education. DId you know that only 17 states require high school financial education. Teens will come out of school and take loans from a bank without even knowing what loans are. This hurts the economy in unimaginable ways. This will cause teens to go through the rest of their lives with bad credit, debt, etc. Did you know the current student loan debt is 1,256,969,992,167 and is still on the rise. Financial education is a very key part in the economies future success.

Olivia Vaughn – Trying a New Lens

Today in our community people swear a lot. Curse words have sadly made their way into many people’s vocabulary. Many people who try to quit cursing make a swear jar. By using a swear jar your can save up a lot of money and if you are already wealthy you can use the money to help other people become financially stable. Or if you are not financially stable yourself you can save up all your money and buy something that you really need. By trying to stop any habit you can save money and become financially secure. So if anyone has a bad habit they can put a little money in a jar every time they do that bad habit. It can go from cracking your knuckles to smoking. It will make you some money and it will stop a bad habit. 

Kate Thomsen – Share Your Story

My grandfather started as a very poor man with little to no money. By the time he married my grandmother he had a decent job making him closer to the middle class range. They ended up having 3 children. As my mother grew up she thought her family was completely poor. My grandfather saved money anywhere he could and never spent money on anything that wasn’t a necessity. My mother got all hammy downs from her brothers, they never went on vacations, and any food that my grandmother couldn’t find a coupon for was never in the kitchen. By the time their kids were ready to go to college my grandparents could pay for every kids 4 year tuition with no debt. Even after that huge sum of money was taken from their accounts they were still millionaires due purely to the fact that they spent no money. They started with nothing and ended with plenty but he still lives like a poor man.

Ahmir Lee – Share Your Story

As a child living only with my mother it is hard to make ends meet. From time to time, there are problems within the family that you can just let be untouched. Other problems are unavoidable and have to be spoken about. My father recently moved to GA and I see him more now than I ever have in my life. He has made a lot of bad decisions in his life that have changed our relationship, and the relationship he and my mom have. Because of this, life is always hectic hearing one talk about the other and it’s obviously not what anyone’s child should have to deal with. My mother is my main caretaker solely because she is dependable and can make sure that everything is taken care of.

Charlotte Hedgepeth – Try a New Lens

From the many different articles, I’ve gathered a great deal of information about financial issues and solutions. The questions asked in the description of “Try a New Lens” were; “How do communities inclusively solve challenges beyond finances?” and “What parallels can we draw from other forms of social empowerment and education?” These questions made me think a lot about the many different ways we could be solving financial issues. One idea in particular is the ‘swear jar’ where every time someone cusses, they put a certain amount of money in the jar. This method teaches how to make financial literacy more accessible to everyone by linking financial education to peoples daily habits. The concept of where you put your money and for what reasons is a great way for people to learn how to use their money wisely and more efficiently. Currently, people spend their money on things they think they need, but in reality it’s more of a want than a need. 

 Lucy Kilgore – Share your Story 

Growing up I have lived a very comfortable life. My family is not in debt, both my parents work, but I was not aware that my family was in a good spot until earlier this year. When I started Mount Vernon I would go over to peoples houses and see how big their house was or how nice of clothes they had, and I would get upset and think my family was in a bad place. I would save my money to try to help my family. The strange thing is I never knew so many people save up for so many years to buy little things. This said I had never really seen a low income family and when I actually did I learned so much about how life can be truly hard for some people. Education on poverty and how deal with the feeling that your family is struggling is something that many kids should and need to know. 

Kippy Ng’eny – Identify Success

While researching on student loan debts and how they affect students in the future and I came across which was a legal information site. It showed payment plans for low income people and consolidating, deffering, and even cancelling your debts. I also found an article about how the president is trying to help students who are struggling paying off their loans. 

Taylor Tengstrom – Identify Success

Financial education is not a very common part of the learning curriculum. From a survey conducted by USA Today, proves that programs in high school lead to a higher rate of improved money management. Student loan and debt rises constantly, and in order for a student to stay in school, they need to be able to handle and budget their debt. Only 17 states require a class in financial literacy, and education in that subject is needed and has a lasting impact. Why is there not more help offered to prepare for a financial world that can be extremely expensive when not understood properly?

Morgan Lewis – Step into Someone’s Shoes 

How could somebody that has been handed everything on a silver plate know exactly how to fix a problem in a community much worse than theirs? By looking at the story “Circle of Poverty” I have come to the conclusion that the people who know first hand how to fix and help the people who need financial empowerment are the people who have come from similar roots nonetheless had some time in poverty. The issue isn’t that kids are dropping out of school because that is inevitable, school is not meant for everybody. It is the fact that as somebody of lower class you are expected to work as a waitress or at the drive through at a Mcdonalds. When really you could achieve more if you set your goals a lot higher. Most people do not know this but some firemen are volunteer fireman who never got their diploma, but after they had shown that they loved what they were doing they were offered a job. Within each community there is always a leader “somebody who makes it out.” People should be striving for goals higher than what stereotypes subjects them to be. ""if you become an expert in find waiter job, you will find only waiter job, you should become expert in find expert job,” Why shouldn’t a black kid want to become a CFO of a fourteen 500 company and want to make tons of money in his adult life. He chooses not to strive for this job because it doesn’t seem attainable for someone of his skin color. The only CEO’s and CFO’s hes heard of are white. The people he sees selling the food at the fast food restaurant are of the same skin color as him so he mentally knows that that job is attainable. It wasn’t until 2008 that a black man was truly portrayed as a leader. It will take a lot more black owned business, doctors, lawyers, and successful men before young black men begin to strive for a better financial life. 

Solomon Simmon – Share your Story

I’m the middle child of three in my household. I have noticed that my parents are together my mom is a dermatologist and my dad is a architect/builder, both of them make a good amount of money. My parents take pride in their children so they send them to good expensive schools which as i have noticed isn’t always the best since it has run their money down the drain. We are building a house so that is also taking up a lot of money my dad had to sell three of his lots that he owned so we could finish the house. With all the money that my parents invest into us I wonder how much we would really have if they didn’t do it so much.

Chase Howell

In my research I found that, In 2011–12, the percentage of first-time, full-time undergraduate students receiving federal grants at 4-year institutions was highest at private for-profit institutions (76 percent); at 4-year public and 4-year private nonprofit institutions, 39 percent and 34 percent of students, respectively, received federal grants. The same year, the percentage of students at 4-year institutions receiving state or local grants was highest at public institutions (37 percent), followed by the percentage receiving these grants at private nonprofit institutions (27 percent) and the percentage receiving them at private for-profit institutions (11 percent). The percentage of students receiving institutional grants was highest at 4-year private nonprofit institutions (81 percent), followed by the percentage receiving these grants at public institutions (42 percent) and the percentage receiving them at private for-profit institutions (22 percent). The percentage of students at 4-year institutions receiving student loan aid was highest at private for-profit institutions (83 percent). In comparison, 63 percent of students at 4-year private nonprofit institutions and 53 percent of students at public institutions received student loan aid.

William White

Raise money for the education of the kids from struggling families. The most important thing for children is their education. If their families can’t pay for their children's’ education, then they are missing out on the most important part of their life. A nonprofit organization that raises money to help the children of the local community go to school. This could impact a huge amount of families in a small community.

Jenny Park 

“How might we use the powers of communities to financially empower those who need it most?” The core factor is an awareness of necessity of sharing wealth based on that the power of communities derives from contributions of individuals. The power of community can easily found in SNS, Social Network Services, such as Facebook, twitter, vine or etc. Bill gates, CEO and chief software architect, is an example figure who use power of community in online in order to share social issues and lead people to make a dent. Virtually, one of his posts says ‘How much do you know about poverty&hunger’ is retweeted by 2,000 people and brings comments of perspectives of people. In conclusion, the power can simply start from you to retweet about poverty! :

Brandon Harris – Share my Story 

With a divorced family and both parents remarried, you can imagine how many siblings I have. My mother, married a businessman that makes good money and allows us to go to private schools and do anything we would want to do. My mom has 4 children(My sister and I being two) My father, has a decent paying job, we live in a apartment with a newborn baby and try to spend as little amount of money as we can. I wonder what it would be like if my mothers side of the family had saved all their money instead of buying expensive houses and other stuff. 

Michael Ardagna

"How might we use the powers of the communities to financially empower those who need it most?” Those who need it most are people who live in poverty. I think we can empower those who need it by creating better jobs. People who live in poverty have low income jobs. In addition, these jobs are boring and are not self rewarding at all. If more jobs were created that were more interesting people would feel more motivated to do their jobs. This then would cause these people to do their jobs better and more efficiently. Then, these people could be promoted or qualify for even better jobs that pay more. This would allow them to get out of poverty, prosper, and keep improving their lives. In conclusion, I think in order to help people in need people need to get jobs that interest them and motivate them to do their work. For communities to help they need to provide more jobs.

Evan Wilkins – Share Your Story

If I needed financial assist it would be hard to think about, right now I have what impoverished kids dream of I have a nice home, shelter, clean water, even a smartphone, and money. Both of my parents have reasonable well-paying jobs, and they send me through this expensive private school so I could get a good education. Since I have been blessed and living with all of the necessary tools, it would be hard for me to think of a life without one of this luxuries. My parents right now are giving me all the tools I need in life to survive and be successful in the world. If I lived if a world where I was impoverished and my parents did not know how to read ,write, or provide for my family it would be hard for me to get the necessary tools I need to be knowledgeable. 

Alyssa Sherman 

Teachers in need of financial aid.Teachers today get paid from around $11-$20 an hour. This is just above minimum wage. Teachers are in poverty because they do not get paid enough for everything the need in life. They also have to pay for school supplies they need for example art teachers buy their own supplies. These people are teaching children things they need to know in life but aren't getting paid enough to buy the essentials. Teachers need a higher salary to get by. They are helping kids learn new things everyday which is not something just anyone can do. To help out the teachers with payroll they should take more of the budget from the school to pay the teachers. It is unreasonable when schools are putting in new gyms when the old one was fine while teachers are barely making enough money to get by.

Yevgeny Eppstein

“How might we use the powers of communities to financially empower those who need it most?” Communities can come together in many ways to help with different issues, but the biggest issue is money or poverty. When a community gets together they can usually fix the issue much quicker. With different ages in the community can come many different small jobs that can be put together to achieve and overcome the big issue which is poverty. One major example was there was a town in which the was a group of people came together opened a coffee shop in the worst part of town. As time went by the financial struggle of the town got better and better. 

Maxine Monroe

How do we stop world hunger? Sure it seems like there would be a quick and easy fix that the higher powers above haven’t thought of yet, but its just not that simple. How do you get food to the people that live in the most rural parts of the world. People say if you really want something you’ll find the way to get it but thats not always the case. Martha is a mother of three and lives in a mostly deserted part of the African planes she works as a field cropper but that still isn't enough.

Townsend Lambert – Share your Story

How might we use the powers of communities to financially empower those who need it most?When I was a younger boy, some of my friends in public school were really scraping by in family life. Some of them always came in late because they had to take public transit from wherever it was they lived. Some of those families couldn’t afford cars and lived too far away to take the school bus. When the parents came in I almost didn’t recognize the hopeful, caring people that I met. It seemed so surreal that someone that had so little could be so happy and optimistic. I checked back with that friend and now, because they were so optimistic, their dad got a nice job and now they are living comfortably and going to a good school.

Cameron Bennett

Unemployment is the one of the main causes of poverty. There are over two hundred million people all over the world who are unemployed, which is above the population of Brazil. The reason is because there are not enough job opportunities, and if more productive opportunities were created, then there would be more people who have the chance to earn money, which will get them towards being out of poverty. If countries would create more work, then less people around the world would be in poverty. Also there is an education factor towards the unemployment, because certain jobs need a certain level of education to be performed.

Hannah Menkus – Surprise Us

Right now, 75% of young adults contribute to donations and/or community service. 2007 had the highest rate of cash donations the world has seen yet. Since then, rates have been shaky due to taxes and bad economy. However, not all donations have to be money. If a community takes the time to come together and assist one problem at a time, the world could slowly hop back on the path to recovery. For example, giving books to local library. 

 Seth Morrill – Surprise Us

Dropouts in schools happen every year around the world! About 1.2 million students drop out of school a year which is about 7,000 students a day! A high school dropout will make about 200,000 dollars less than a high school graduate and 1,000,000 dollars less than a college graduate! About 2,000 schools in the US graduate less than 60% of their students! In the U.S., high school dropouts commit about 75% of crimes! A good thing is that the dropout rate has fallen 3% from 1990 to 2010!

Colson Logue

“How might we use the powers of communities to financially empower those who need it most?” I think the best to help people that need the most help is by helping the young kids who aren’t as fortunate. I feel like if we do that then it would be better for our world in the future. Because one day one of those kids could become very successful as an adult and they might remember the time they were helped and they could help some other people. An example of helping kids would be like donating toys and stuff to them.

Andrew Henning – Step into Someone's Shoes

Through my research, I believe it is a good idea for wealthy people to donate to less fortunate families, and people. People with a lot of money often spend it on themselves, instead of other people that need it most. For Example, if a wealthy person had a very nice, brand new car and decided they needed to buy another one. Instead of spending all of this money on another car, this money could be donated. We need to educate the community in order to get the word out about donating to the less fortunate. By educating people, they can know there money is going to be spent.

Daniel Bekker

Renewable Energy We cannot just be dependant on oil, people say using renewable energy sources such as sunlight for energy is too expensive, while this is true at the moment think about what research into this field could do. Just like everything else new in the market they are expensive and inefficient at first. Then as more and more research is done they improve and become cheap, I think this would be the same case for renewable energy sources. I believe we need to stop relying on fossil fuels as our main source of energy, and improve renewable energy sources, before we run out of fossil fuel.

Gabby Thompson

Student financial aidCollege now a-days are more expensive than they used to be so financial aid is a need for a lot of students going into high school. Students by now usually have jobs that help but do not cover for all their needs. While parents usually help out with college, some maybe not have parents that have enough money to fund for their college. Students coming out of high school can receive financial aid from a variety of sources. You may be eligible for assistance from the federal or state government, local banks, civic or church groups, your parents’ employer or union, and colleges themselves. 

Will Tillett

Financial aid for college is a lot more of a tricky thing then you think. Some colleges don’t even know if you are applicable for financial aid because they take blind admissions meaning they don’t know where you are from so they can’t help you out with it. These blind policies are bad and could cause people more and more money because they can’t get financial aid for college. Plus people from other countries can just apply and get into colleges in the United States, but won’t be able to get financial aid. Plus if they have these blind policies they don’t know if its out of state tuition or if its in state tuition. 


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