San Diego Sweeps National Social Innovation Relay Competition

Think about the societal problems your community, or our world, faces... and develop a solution as an entrepreneur.

Two hundred San Diego-area high school students were posed with this challenge as part of this year's Social Innovation Relay, hosted internationally by Hewlett-Packard (HP) and Junior Achievement.

The teenagers, ranging in age from 15 to 18, formed teams and worked together to create their own social innovation ideas. Mentors from HP who worked with the students virtually and in-person to further develop their initiatives. Students' concept papers explaining their proposals were then evaluated to select the top regional teams to continue on to the U.S. National Finals.

And on May 22, San Diego swept the top honors when Clairemont High School teams RoboPet placed first and A Heart At A Time placed second. Both teams excelled under the guidance of teacher Alan Walter and HP Mentor Robert Seay.

RoboPet presented their idea to promote animal care education to youth as a means to combat animal cruelty and neglet. A Heart At A Time showcased their initiative to combat substance abuse amongst homeless individuals.

RoboPet will now continue to the Social Innovation Relay's Global Final, being held via an HP virtual meeting room this July, where they will compete against the winning teams from over a dozen countries around the world. Plus, the students and their teacher each won an HP technology suite, courtesy of HP.

The challenges presented to these young people have allowed them to think outside of the box and contemplate the needs of their society… important skills to have as future economic leaders and successful entrepreneurs! When asked what he learned most from this competition, RoboPet team member Raymond Perea replied that you should “always show team co-operation and dedication to your cause”. We couldn't agree more!

"The cool thing about the Social Innovation Relay project is that it encourages you to look at issues you see in society and try to figure out how you would solve them." – Stephanie Kwik, RoboPet team member

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POSTED MAY 31,2013