The Impactful Teen Innovation Program

The Impactful Teen ’23 Innovation Sandbox, designed for teenagers, provided a platform for innovative projects with social impact. This unique program engaged bright high school students in a dynamic camp at the University of San Diego from August 14th to 20th, 2023. It effectively integrated design thinking of United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, and podcast creation to foster civic engagement and generate significant local change. Throughout the program, the focus was on the essential Sustainable Development Goal #3: “Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.” Within this transformative program, students formed teams and embarked on a journey to identify locally-relevant issues closely linked to health and well-being.

Through interviews with civic leaders gained valuable insights. Then, they applied the principles of design thinking to develop prototypes of their solutions and skillfully presented their concepts to a wider audience. This comprehensive approach to driving change not only empowered the participants, but also aligned perfectly with the overarching goal of promoting overall well-being and healthy lives for all. This program was made possible through a collaborative effort between the Jacobs Institute, Cloudcast, Pactful, and the University of San Diego Sports Center, supported by grants from the San Diego Foundation and the San Diego Unified School District.

Additionally, during the camp, students had the opportunity to interact with José “Chapulín” Salas, a young professional boxer from Tijuana with an impressive record of 13 wins, 0 losses, and 10 knockouts. José motivated them and shared his experience as a boxer, expressing his dream of becoming a world champion while currently in training. The students interviewed him for a podcast organized by Cloud Cast. It was a very special moment for the young people, who were able to interact and learn from boxer José “Chapulín” Salas. They also had the chance to get autographs and take photos with him.

Lastly, Gente Bonita Magazine would like to recognize the outstanding work of the Jacobs Institute for Education, led by Director Dr. Perla Myers, and Associate Director Bianca Alvarado, who have done an exceptional job. Their expertise and the partnerships they have formed are key to the success of this great project. Visiting the University of San Diego is always a pleasure due to the beauty of its campus and the kindness with which you are received.

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