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Handy Heroes

A program centered around a mobile app allowing elementary school teachers and students to send their thanks to Custodians.

Photo of Jason Chae
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An interactive app for mobile and tablet devices, allowing teachers to generate and send a myriad of uniquely customizable messages and gifts to Custodial staff. The app is based around options, since the more options teachers have to send gratitude, the more they can expose these acts of kindness to their students. We believe Custodians are heroes in their own way, and their hard work should be greatly appreciated.

Idea Title

Handy Heroes

How the Idea will inspire the experience and expression of gratitude within an organization.

Teachers are able to view the Custodian staff schedule, where they can then choose to send customized messages to any Custodian. Messages can range from simply text, to making use of the front camera to take a selfie, or a short video expressing their gratitude.

Who are you innovating for?

Hardworking Custodians who rarely get appreciated.

What type of workplaces are you innovating for?

Elementary Schools.

How you envision the Idea being introduced to your selected organization?

For this to work in schools, the app would be developed for mobile devices and tablets. A small guide will be sent with some ideas for teachers on how to get students engaged in the program, since we don’t younger, more impressionable audiences on their phones.

What obstacles, if any, do you foresee in implementing this Idea, and how would they be overcome?

Not all Custodial staff can afford smart devices. In these instances, Handy Heroes would be designed to be able send messages over multiple platforms, such as: In App, Email, MMS/SMS, and Web Browsers. There are also customizable gift packages on our E-Store which can be built with personal and unique items catered to Custodial staff.

How will you test and prototype your solution?

Testing would be done at the Maryland Institute College of Art campus in Baltimore, Maryland.

What immediate next steps will you take if you receive an implementation grant.

Develop a more in-depth user interface and programming of the app. Expand on more completed features and interface design.

At what stage of development is your Idea?

  • Research & Early Testing: You are exploring an idea, gathering inspiration and information needed to test it with real users.

Please describe from where your Idea emerged

Student Collaboration, Team Brainstorm

Tell us about yourself

We are Jason Chae, Jay Li and Dant Weikel. We are all graduate students at the Maryland Institute College of Art, studying Graphic Design. The Gratitude Challenge has allowed us the opportunity to use our visual communication skills to solve social issues.

Where are you / your team located?

Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A.

Tell us about your experience

Jason Chae — BFA in Industrial Design from Gachon University in South Korea. Worked as a brand designer in the Rio Olympics taskforce team at Cheil Worldwide Inc. under the Samsung group and working as a freelance graphic designer in OVIS Studios now. Jay Li — BSD in Graphic Design at Arizona State University. Worked as Graphic Designer at Global Launch Department at Arizona State University. Dant Weikel — BA in Fine Arts Major with Graphic Design Minor at Elizabethtown College at Pennsylvania


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