This season has been a whirlwind of meaningful connections with local community partners, industry mentors, and fellow USC groups in the social entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem.
TEAM LIVABLE COMMUNITIES
Focusing on the urban context of South LA and related issues of safety, walkability, access to healthy food and understanding USC's role through this background.
From visiting local vendors at the farmer's market and Mercado La Paloma to interviewing for expert opinions on community needs in Los Angeles, the Livable Communities team identified an immediate opportunity for impact: How might we utilize USC resources to benefit local South LA businesses?
Check out their design process on Loft - Livable Communities!
TEAM MENTAL HEALTH
While one in four college students have a diagnose mental health issue, 40% do not seek help -- which creates the imperative to educate college communities on recognizing the signs, providing support, and connecting students to the resources they need.
How might we leverage existing student behaviors to connect students in need to on-campus resources and create a culture of empathy/understanding?
A big thanks to our official partner organization, the Saks Institute for Mental Health Law, Policy, and Ethics at USC.
Issues such as mental illness, addiction, unemployability, economic recession, lack of affordable housing have perpetuated the vicious, unbreakable cycle of homelessness. This team decided to focus on resources for hygiene, as lack of personal grooming may aggravate unemployment, low self-esteem, and unapproachability.
How might we use the desire of a homeless individual to tell one’s story to educate the homeless about self care? How might we use time waiting in line to offer self-care services.
Moving forward with ideation and prototyping, ideas ranged from SkidRowChella, GoPro camera montage, Open Mic Show, to mobile hair cutting services, hygiene kits in line, walk through glamour stations, and public photographic art exhibits. Many ideas incorporate photo campaign elements such as:
- Giving homeless individuals photographs of themselves following a personal makeover
- Creating a HONY style webpage focusing on LA’s homeless population
- Collecting a quick story quotes about homeless individuals
- Setting up full-body, interactive portraits throughout Los Angeles