HCD Project: Research and Create Assignment #3

You have now not only come up with your design challenge but also identified your most crucial, practical, knowledge needs and some ways to get answers.

Test one of your methods. Find out more information! 

  • Max. 4 sentences: Describe what you researched, how,  and what the main results were. 
  • Max. 4 sentences: Based on your research, what shifted in your thinking? Where is the REAL design problem? What became more concrete and specific in your design idea?  (If nothing changed, say that.)
  • Max. 2 sentences: How might you now shape your concrete project? What is your project in a nutshell (what, why, how where, when, by whom, who benefits and how = where’s the opportunity and the solution).

Business as usual: Due as a blog comment on 4/24 by class time.

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46 thoughts on “HCD Project: Research and Create Assignment #3

  1. Upon first picking the topic I first based my research by looking from a global standpoint. The sustainable goal website showed numbers regarding the current role of poverty in the world internationally, however it wasn’t until I began looking on a local scale when I realized how big of a problem poverty is here in new york. Approximately 1.4 million NYC residents are living in poverty, forced to rely on emergency food programs and barely making ends meet. Nearly 45.6 percent of New Yorkers are barely making ends meet while more adults are working more full-time since the recession
    Whilst initially researching data I found that there were not too many organizations trying to fix the problem. However there were plenty of organizations trying to mend the problem. Although I support the role of soup kitchens, and shelters, these are merely just placing a bandage on the wound that poverty has left on the city.
    The basis of my idea is rough, however I aim to help these poverty-stricken individuals in a way that allows them to get back on their feet and be able to provide for themselves rather than just give them food or shelter. The goal would be to develop an environment conducive to this concept so that poverty is no longer a wound that is hurting the city.

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    1. I appreciate you honing in on your challenge and acknowledging that you don’t want to create another “band aid” program. Might talking to some of the people you want to help actually inspire you to “think outside of the box” for concrete, step-bt-step realizations of your big concept of empowerment.

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  2. I researched what people would be interested in being a part of my localized version of “NOW”. I also researched what topics these specific people would be interested in learning about regarding women’s rights issues. I researched these points by talking to my friends and family. I found my target to be mainly women and men who I would categorize as feminists. The women’s rights topics that they were mostly interested in finding out about were the wage gap, sexual harassment, and a women’s right to choose (abortion). After learning that men were also pretty interested in women’s rights issues my thinking shifted. I really thought I would be targeting women, mostly young girls. In reality my design problem is not only that I have to localize “NOW”, but that I also have to broaden their target market. Now having all the information that I have I would generally keep my project the same, but with a few tweaks. I would keep it the same because I would still want to localize it for the NYC area, but it would be different from what I thought my project would be originally because I didn’t know what issues to talk about and that men were so interested in these topics. The opportunity is for me to make more people aware of women’s rights issues and bring a lot of issues that women face into the light. The solution is to make my concrete project targeted towards millennial men and women and talk about women’s rights issues that are usually too taboo for most people to want to talk about.

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    1. I really like your insight about targeting men! You base your results on qualitative discussions (not statistical facts) but that may be the best way to detect specific issues that capture the interest of both women and men. Well done!

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  3. The topic I researched was how New Yorkers describe the term good health and wellbeing. With my project, I am promoting the importance of growing your own food through a non-profit called Brook Park Chickens. With that being said, I want to know what New Yonkers think of the term good health and wellbeing in order to target the right audience, and also be more effective throughout my campaign. The main results I found when it comes to good health and well being, is that they think of both physical and mental health, along with indicators such as asthma, poor health, self-reported health status, healthy eating habits, teen pregnancy rate, low birth weight, insurance coverage, and medical care receipt.
    Based on my search, nothing really shifted in terms of my thinking. I still want to promote the importance of growing your own food to local residents. What became more clear to me is the fact that this category includes a lot of components not only healthy eating habits. This is important to note, so that these local residents are aware of not only the physical aspect but the mental aspect as well.
    With all this information that I have collected, my concrete idea is to work with Brook Park Chickens located in South Bronx to raise awareness on the importance of growing your own food. I want to do this by inviting local residents, like teachers, parents, students, and health professionals, who will be able to learn about this topic and pass on their knowledge to others.

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    1. Jennifer: How did you find out your results? Whom did you talk to? How representative are your findings — did you use statics, focus groups? Based on your results, are you sure NYers whom you target are actually willing to grow their own food (I thought that was your design challenge)? Or, are you creating an awareness campaign?

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  4. Based on my HCD Project I researched information on economic inequalities. I conducted most of my research online, reading different articles on the subject. The main results were statistics showing just how serious of a problem economic inequality truly is in society. Statistics show that the top 20% of United States households own more than 84% of the wealth, while the bottom has 0.3%. Also according to research the black and white income gap in the U.S. has persisted. In 2011 the median black household income was 59% of median white household income moving up only 4% from 55% in 1967. Besides the persistent gap recorded the major issue I saw was that only 45% percent of Americans think economic inequality is a major problem. This happened to change my thinking because I was more concerned with creating new opportunities for people in low income areas to receive jobs. While that is important I believe I should develop my goal into making people more aware of the issues of economic inequality. I believe that number should be at least 60% because we should be more aware or at least empathic to the economic situation of others especially in minority groups. What has changed in my design project is to not completely change my idea of creating opportunities to rebuild homes that are under maintenance but also add weekly seminars in communities to explain the economic inequalities to americans who may be unaware of the issues that face society especially young adults who are preparing to move out of their parents homes. The purpose of this project would be to create opportunity while also educating communities on the issues of economic inequalities because it is necessary for people to receive the same opportunities and also important that people are exposed to problems they may not be aware of. The project will focus on low income areas in long island and the people within these communities.

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    1. Quentin, you have found out interesting information but this project is about HUMAN CENTERED design, and NYC. You set a goal of 60% — great, that’s a way to measure your success. However: you base it on a US average —
      the situation in NYC might be very different (I would expect it to be so, given how diverse our city is.) . Knowing background facts is important, of course, but how does these facts help you to become more concrete and specific = successful in your projects? For inspiration, see the list f methods everyone suggested: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1g2KGAU5FsmnfSUWluCuxpnKhXwveY4_z9K-ycvHYw3E

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  5. To start my research, I tried to find out more about how zoning affects public school education in New York City, so I searched just that. What I found was the website for The New School The Center for New York City Affairs. It had a detailed comparison of zoning and the demographic make up of schools and income of the neighborhoods those schools are in in all of New York City. What is importantly explained is how integration can be a more effective way of improving public schools because parents in middle class families in economically mixed neighborhoods have political clout to demand better resources for schools while teachers and families in neighborhoods with higher poverty have lower expectations for students. I am realizing that my goal of developing and implementing strategies through technology for teacher-parent-student involvement may be a goal for farther down the road. Right now, a bigger issue is just developing a way for students from poorer neighborhoods to receive more quality education and I think that starts with qualified teachers that care about their students. As I mentioned above, integration seems like the most practical way to achieve this.

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    1. Hi Samantha: You might have found much more info relating to your specific goal by talking to just one student or teacher than researching zoning. What is meant by “qualified teachers”? What would incentify that happening in your target neighborhoods? How do we start with HUMANS (HCD) and not with statistics?

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  6. My particular design challenge is to create a non-profit based off of the inequality in NYC in partnership with the Russell Sage Foundation in which local high-school and college students will help to build local programs and conduct research. So when we created the PSA’s I took a look at the campaign “chose a line, take a ride” the inequalities from the NYC Subway. So for my research, I went back and looked at the line, and looked at the F line, one in which I consistently use in Queens. I decided to choose lines that would be closest to SJU, the last four stops, in which the average household income at the four stops ranged form $47,000- to $28,000. In a range of four subway stops a difference of almost $20,000 separated the income gap. The inequalities continue from every stop on every line. So I decided I wanted to see with who and how could I get the student from SJU to become aware of the own gaps in their communities, and to get students to start talking and create action. I spoke to Renee Shackron, who serves as the head of community service for Alpha Kappa Psi, a business fraternity on campus with over thirty active members and many alum. My design problem is deciding what particular inequality do we tackle, income, race, gender, social and economic inequities, but I figured if we could partner with groups on the SJU campus, who are members of the community, they come from many backgrounds and study different things, we could focus on more than one. They would be able to focus on whatever equality they find most relevant to their particular group and goals. With the idea of partnering with different groups on campus, each issue will find a voice and create initiatives and programs of their own to serve the community. My non-profit inequality project would focus on creating relationships between the SJU students and the community. With the goals centered around getting the talk started about the inequality and ways to not just only help those in need, but create real dynamic ways to change the drastic difference between the wealthy and poor, and the social and economic issues that create the inequalities.

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  7. In order to conduct my research I looked closely at certain numbers that are involved with Food Bank for NYC and getting opinions of some close family and friends. By numbers I mean the number of volunteers that the Food bank receives. I found out that around 42% of people that rely on the food bank are under 18 years old. On average they need 800 volunteers a week in order to continue fulfilling their mission – this made me realize how important it is to spread the word. This helped me think about my plan because by bringing education into school and helping children understand the issue and how to help, it can lead to an increase of volunteers from the children and their families. I talked to a few parents about my idea and they agreed that it is something they feel schools should involve (not only this issue but also other issues our world is facing) I asked them if they would be willing to get involved themselves if their children became passionate about the issue and many of them said they would and that even if their children were not eager to volunteer, they would take them to volunteer so they can be exposed to bigger issues in life. I did have on parent say to me that they would not be comfortable if the lesson on hunger was taught in a certain way. What she meant by this was she would be concerned if her child somehow became upset with the reality of hungry people in the world – after this she did say she believed it was important for her kid to know but she would rather be the one teaching her child. This made me realize that some parents might be hesitant to let their children be exposed to this information. I think as long as the parents are involved with the lesson throughout they will feel more comfortable with it.

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  8. The main thing I looked into was finding a specific bottled water company to hopefully collaborate with, and after doing my research, Dasani seems to be the best match. Dasani is owned by Coca Cola, founders of the Coca Cola Foundation, which donates money and supplies to various causes, with providing access to clean water being listed as one of them. I also looked further into the I Am Waters organization in an attempt to find out how they get supplies/donations, and how they spread their message to the public. I was able to find news letters and press releases stating their involvement in fundraisers and charity events, as well as instances of the organization being mentioned on The TODAY Show, being featured in magazine ads, and having celebrity spokespeople like Hilary Duff and Buzz Aldrin. After discovering all of this information, my overall design idea has not changed much. I am still focusing on giving homeless people in NYC access to clean drinking water by creating a fictitious New York branch of the already-existing, Texas-based I Am Waters non-profit. However, I will focus more on how I will get donations and supplies, like by collaborating with affluent, philanthropic companies like Coca Cola. This is something that I have not seen the actual I Am Waters organization doing, but I think it will be very beneficial to the non-profit. In a nutshell, my project is to create a NYC branch of the I Am Waters organization, which will collaborate with the Coca Cola Foundation, as well as the Salvation Army, Goodwill, and Covenant House, to bring clean, bottled drinking water to the homeless people of New York. This will bring the world one step closer towards ensuring access to clean water for everyone, which is a part of Sustainable Development Goal #6.

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    1. Ok! Would it also benefit you to talk to someone at Salvation Army or equivalent to find out how they handle corporate sponsorships? Sometimes these issues are not straight-forward and they might have specific rules about donations. Or, what does the Coca Cola Foundation require from programs it supports? For instance, they say they don’t support “Religious endeavors” and in some sense the Salvation Army fits the bill. These are the kinds of details you will need to address when making your project more concrete.

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  9. After establishing my specific design challenge I took some time to look at things from an angle that I formally hadn’t. I previously focused on the funding of the organization and now need to ascertain the legal aspects. In my research of legal aspects I noticed that my goal is something that hasn’t been done yet. It was surprising, due to the fact that we provide shelter, food, and at times education for those in prison, but haven’t been able to find a way to help those who haven’t committed a crime simply get back on their feet. There are organizations like Students in Temporary Housing (STH) that united with the Office of Safety and Youth Development (OSYD) to give homeless students a temporary housing as well as provide technical support and work directly with schools. The opportunity being provided is great for students, and the youth, but what about the person that has no job and cant afford to go to school, and loses their home. Looking at poverty at a local scale, in NYC alone about 1.4 million residents are living in poverty and forced to depend on government help. Granted most people take advantage of that help, but there is a big percentage that would much rather get an education and be able to provide on their own. As a city we can not continue to overlook the current problem in hopes to prevent the youth from following our foot steps, we must first fix the problem and then lead by example. The goal is to lower the level of poverty in NYC by providing temporary housing and immediate training opportunities to benefit the individual’s chances of obtaining a job that will allow them to maintain a sustainable lifestyle.

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    1. Ashley, you have clearly identified a gap. But… As you note, there are projects around your issue. That seems strange — so the question that came to my mind immediately is: Is there a legal or practical challenge that has hindered the development of such program? Perhaps the actual “recipients” are hard to identify, due to their multiple challenges, and perhaps due to lack of permanent address? Or? That would be something I would urgently research…

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  10. I researched my design challenge of cross-cultural communication in maintaining a functioning community garden. To do so I e-mailed Mr. Carlos Martinez, the Deputy Director at GreenThumb, which is the branch of New York City Parks that is in charge of establishing community gardens. Mr. Martinez responded quickly and thoroughly, providing me with answers to my questions and further material to check out in my ongoing research. He told me that oftentimes a community garden will draft bylaws to regulate group dynamics, and that GreenThumb can provide mediation/conflict resolution services as well as training, resources, and workshops in multiple languages.
    My thinking has shifted in that I believe I will depend less on organizations like NYRP to help me in my endeavor. Instead, I know that I can turn to governmental agencies such as GreenThumb to assist me. The real design problem is not community coordination after garden creation, but rather the recruitment of multi-lingual individuals to help me promote the idea of a garden in the first place. My confidence in the management of this project after it has been established is more concrete, as I know there are regulatory bodies on-hand to help keep it under control. Also, Mr. Martinez offered to help me with anything I need in the future, so I certainly have a specific contact to whom I can now turn with any questions or concerns.
    Now, I would turn my focus to the initial stages of garden creation; perhaps I could recruit multi-lingual students from local schools to help me write promotional material, and in turn I could arrange for them to receive community service credits through any programs or clubs they may be involved in. In a nutshell, my project is to establish a community garden (what) during the growing season of 2018 (when) in my neighborhood of Gravesend (where), with the help of local activists and government agencies (how) because it contributes to sustainable urban environments (why) for the increasingly populated and dirtied New York City (who benefits).

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  11. I researched ways to make cities more sustainable and environmentally friendly because this is my design challenge goal for NYC, to make it a model green city. In order to research this, I searched and found sources that describe different ways to make cities greener. The main results were things relating to infrastructure, such as, improve mass transit, make buildings more efficient, preserve historical and natural assets, boost clean energy, and upgrade power infrastructure.

    Based on my research, nothing really shifted my way in thinking. I know that in order for these environmentally friendly changes to be made for NYC to become a more sustainable, model city, I must have an effective PR campaign.

    My final, concrete project involves creating public policy change to make NYC a model green city. This is my goal/project because at least half of the world’s population inhabits cities. Cities therefore can play a major role in combatting climate change. I will create this public policy change by having an effective PR campaign, which encourages and utilizes New Yorkers to demand change and laws/public policies implemented from their elected officials and state legislature. The people that will benefit most from this are residents in and around New York City. If other cities follow NYC’s sustainable lead, then we will eventually all benefit from it, because we will be combatting the effects of climate change.

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    1. Kiarose: I appreciate you confirming your project by background research. How did this *concretely* take you further with your knowledge needs? Who are the audiences of your campaign, specifically? How will you reach them in this campaign-saturated environment? What did you learn in that respect?

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  12. My project was to broaden the services WIN (Women In Need) provides to the high volume of homeless women and families that they serve. WIN already provides many quality services alongside housing including counseling, financial education, childcare and career services. My idea, although vague, was to incorporate a sort of empowerment group. I wanted to create a space for people to learn about and practice self-love/care as well as explore the ways they are disadvantaged (by either being female or a minority) and learn how to address and overcome these obstacles. I wasn’t sure whether to limit or segregate this group by age or gender.
    I felt statistical research would not be as helpful so I chose to instead ask my family and friends their opinion. With the group I’m creating I’d like to remove the theme of homelessness since the WIN’s already existing programs cover that completely. Because of this I felt asking the opinion of those not homeless to still be appropriate. Through questioning I learned that most people preferred the group to be gender-mixed but separated into age groups. The topics I suggested (wage gap, prejudice, self-esteem) were generally approved.
    The small research I conducted was in line with what I had been imagining for this empowerment group. The main design problems I see now involve actually starting and running the group, including: scheduling, attendance, topics and speakers.

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    1. Interesting! So age / generational differences would matter here more than gender? This is definitively the kind of information you would not extract from statistics, necessarily. Addressing different generations will create an extra component for you. Might this research suggest that you might want to start with a group for just a certain age group first?

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  13. I have researched sites that are associated with the economical development of the Long Island region to better understand the rise and demise of local businesses in long island. I have discovered that 90% of the business establishments on Long Island are small businesses which happens to be “one of the highest concentrations in New York State”. However, based on a report conducted by a 2016 survey of businesses on L.I, I also found out that “nearly three quarters of company owners used personal funds when their businesses needed cash, instead of seeking financing including loans.” Those who have turned to this were either “burned by high debt levels” in conjunction with the period and aftermath of the recession. Yet, by rejecting outside help, they “wanted to avoid finding themselves unable to make their loan payments.” Despite this, most are optimistic about the future. Based on this research, I was surprised by how many are taking the matter in their hands and basically trying to avoid the risks but at the same time making questionable decisions. I believe the problem is that many are afraid of the prospect of getting more people involved. I think there is a misconception about the idea of financial help that is circulating and its leading people to set themselves up for disaster. I think the aim is to better promote resources like Long Island SCORE, local chamber of commerces, etc. to eliminate the stigma that many people have of outside help. This would encourage people to seek out help and hopefully manage their business endeavors properly.

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    1. Hi: Good intel. You could now verify your interpretation of the statistics by asking some *small business owners* if this is the case — and what are the reasons for avoiding financial help. This probably guides you also for organizing something around this specific problem.

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  14. In order to work towards my design challenge of creating a public advocacy organization whose goal is to raise awareness for clean water and sanitation, I needed to do some research. My first step was to locate experts involved in similar projects with the hope that they can help me realize my own challenge. I came across Water for Good, a faith-based, non-denominational, and non-profit organization who collaboratively works with communities in Central Africa to ensure access to clean water and sanitation principles throughout the Central African Republic. I reached out to Adrienne Lane, Water for Good’s Director of Development, and she was kind enough to answer a few of my questions.

    She reiterated the fact that social media is a powerful tool to raise awareness, however, she made it clear that raising awareness is not enough. People around the world must FIRST believe that they can create positive change through their governments, philanthropy, and economic choices. Using the same mindset, while the NYDEP is only accountable for the people of New York, if enough of their constituents care about the SDGs and voice their concerns, then the state could participate in the provision of technical assistance to cities around the world that are developing their own water systems.

    Based on this research, my thinking has shifted in that the REAL design problem isn’t so much to raise awareness for clean water and sanitation or the SDGs as a whole, it’s to ultimately get people to care about them in the first place. This is a collaborative effort that requires the help of many different outlets. People care about things for different reasons; one person might be inspired by a faith-based organization while another might be inspired by a governmental call for action. The positioning changes based on who does the positioning! However, the end goal remains the same: get the most amount of people to WANT to make a difference.

    Now, my focus has changed from starting my own unique public advocacy organization in favor of working alongside existing agencies and organizations to combat the problem together. In a nutshell, my project is to create a social media campaign by the end of 2017 centered in NYC, with the help of governmental and state agencies as well as non-profit organizations with like-minded goals, whose goal is not only to raise awareness for clean water and sanitation, but to inspire change and unity among New York City and all affected regions worldwide.

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    1. VERY interesting, Logan! You reached out to an expert — and that made you shift your focus into being an umbrella coordinator – social media expert. You talked about the challenge: We care for different reasons. How would you address that “lesson learned”? Will you create a blueprint that different campaigns can use and tailor for their needs?

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  15. To start off my research I wanted to look closely at City Harvest’ users and volunteers to get a good understanding about how much is being produced everyday and who are the ones that are directly handling with it. One number that mostly everyone knows it that 1.4 million New Yorkers face hunger each year and 1 out of 4 of them being children. I also learned that there were more visits to soup kitchens and pantries in NYC last year than NFL attendees across the country. With that being said 42 percent of New York city households lack the income needed to cover basic necessities like food, shelter, and childcare. The total amount of volunteers thus far ranges from 16,321 just in New York City. People have volunteered over 54,000 hours to help those in need. With researching all of this information I noticed that in order for a change to happen we need to educate right from the start. As we spoke in class previously many do not want to talk about ongoing issues like this because it makes some “uncomfortable” and that’s where we go wrong. We need to teach our children from an early age that we need to give back to those who do not have. I have spoken with some families and have asked if they expose their kids to the soup kitchens.Some said yes and some said no, a lot of the no’s were because they did not want to expose their child to that. And yet again, that is why our society ends up how it is. We need to educate and inform children from the vert start because it is not something that is going away, sadly. Since there is so much need for volunteers and helping with these food trucks I think it is extremely important to educate those around us. As long as it is approached in the right manner I see no harm in informing children in our society about an ongoing issue and how they can help. Most people believe that there are only one or two ways to help in a issue like this but it is actually the complete opposite. There are so many opportunities to help no matter what age you may be. This will not only benefit the current status of this issue but also the future and hopefully decreasing these numbers.

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    1. You found an interesting way of expressing the facts you found — make sure you use it in your last assignment! So, I see an idea from your research emerging that would educate children via participation in soup kitchens — but in a way that would be appropriate (your next step would probably be to find out how to do that…)

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  16. From my research with the Black & Missing Foundation, I have found that a huge issue in the design project is getting police in collaboration with the community. Police are in denial with the oppression and targeting of black women/girls and that is major pain in trying to gain progress in finding these missing girls. The people of the community already have a history with the abuse of police authority and have no trust for the police. The next move is to try and find the police residing in these communities to be of service and help bring them (police) and the community together.

    My thinking has shifted toward the success and progress of my design project. I want to be able to support these survivors but having the support of the police along with the community is needed to bring together the necessary sources to find these young women. Infiltrating sex trafficking and organ harvesters’ rings is what needs to be done but police are not focused and deterring from the facts. This really put together my design project on not just how to help these survivors but stop the cycle occurring in their communities.

    This fully shapes my project to not only be a support center and organization for the survivors and families of this tragedy but be a service in helping find these missing girls and stop the horrors occurring in the black market. My project specifically is an organization operating in the D.C./Maryland Metropolitan area that supports survivors and their families of human trafficking, kidnapping, and organ harvesting. Another branch of my organization will be in collaboration with law enforcement to control and stop these specific issues to decrease crime and save the lives of many innocent women/girls.

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    1. Your finding is really important — how did you find out about police involvement? And, this issue being so sensitive, tour next step would probably be to talk to police representatives to understand how to best involve them, from their perspective…

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  17. I researched academic journals that specifically focused on Educating Homeless Children in NYC. I like that this journal was specific to NYC because it provided me with a city to direct all of my focus to. In reading this journal, I learned that at the end of last year, 24,076 children were sleeping in a shelter. One of the biggest obstacles for my HCD project is finding cost effective programs that New York City’s schools can provide to give extra assistance to homeless children and their families.
    Through this research, I learned that a lot of programs are already in place but they have a lot of flaws. For example, there are busses that can pick up kids that have been relocated outside close distances of their schools. The problem is that these buses have been proven to be unreliable and this drastically affects the children’s school attendance. Programs like these need to be improved which hopefully will minimize the money spent;
    I think that, with work, the New York City’s public school system would be revamped in order to be more inclusive and supportive to kids that are homeless. The revamping of these programs will unite the city and give the children a chance to feel safe and confident at school.

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    1. You report interesting and important facts. But you can imagine that changing NYC school system is not a job for a single project. This is a highly political issue depending on the city and state budget. So — how could you get more concrete and what should you know for that?

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  18. I spoke to many alum of my sorority who have talked to me about this being some kind of a concern in the metro new york area. I asked them if they thought it was an issue, why they think it was an issue, and various other questions. 81.3% have experienced a language barrier with a student. The same 81.3% say they would want to be trained in a second language. However, 87.5% say that being trained in a second language would help them in the classroom. I think the real design problem, is that there aren’t resources for teachers to learn a second language, or sense of urgency. My thinking behind this didn’t change; it made me even more sure that this is a bigger issue. I want to create a program to provide teachers with resources to learn a second language to help them interact with students.

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    1. Hi Lucy – good work! Do you think that you would now need to choose/focus: Will you ‘just’ create resources (and what might they be? do teachers have time to study? $? – NYC teachers do get professional development funds annually. should this be an online peer-to-peer forum to learn together?). Or, do first need to create the sense of urgency, to get a buy-in for your educational products? How would you concreticize your plan?

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  19. I chose to research the general statistics as to how many households and businesses on Long Island are currently using clean energy and how this number would be hopefully increasing in coming years. I visited the reLI website and contacted their offices to get some more clear information on how their survives promote and help people make the switch. I found that over 22,000 homes spread across LI have already made the switch and that some towns (East Hampton for example) have made pledges to be 100% by 2020. By speaking to the representative from the non-profit I realized that the main challenge with the spread of clean energy is that consumers often think it will be a difficult switch. I had already had a hunch that this would be the case. My mindset for this plan was solidified in that the best route would be to educate consumers on the simplicity of the switch to clean energy and providing information for contractors and companies that would do it. My project as a whole will now be one of educating the consumers rather than actually building and physically manufacturing clean energy sources. By providing consumers with pamphlets, informational packages, and even speaking with town officials to promote the switch to clean energy my project aims to have clean energy not be perceived as a lengthy, expensive process but one that is a viable and affordable option.

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    1. Excellent. You have a clear mission: tech exists, solutions exist, you need to “sell them”. Plus, you have now a solid argument: Not only is clean energy good for the environment, getting it is easy. So, your concrete project will be a public advocacy campaign, I gather.

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  20. My design challenge is to bring clean energy to the greater New York area, so what I decided to do was research how much it would cost to bring clean energy to local businesses. With the average cost of solar panel installation in NY costing around $16,000, but the upside to this is that there is a “New York solar tax credit” in which you can receive credit up to $5,000. but Also while on break I spoke with my uncle who is a land lord in the city in which he rents out commercial space to business owners. I spoke to him about if he would be open to installing panels and what he told me was that some companies have additional fees that makes it more expensive to install the panels, but at the end of the day he is open to having them.

    Through my research I’ve found that the real design problem is that its, not like people don’t want to by the panels they just don’t want to spend the money. Also as my uncle told me there could be hidden fees that can add to the overall price of the installment. I think now I should focus on finding ways to present the installation of solar panels into local businesses in a manner in which they feel like they won’t get screwed over and that their investment will be worth it. So for my next step I think it’s important that I gather all the information I can about discounts for installations, credit and overall how much money owners can save over a period of time by investing in clean energy.

    As stated previously my project still has the main goal of bringing clean energy to NY. But the new problem that has arisen is not convincing them to switch because many people are down, it’s trying to find ways for it to be cheaper installation and show business owners how its beneficial in the long run. This will not only benefit business owners but it will benefit everyone in NY because it will help lower pollution rates, and electricity costs.

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    1. Great intel from someone who knows. The extra fees and costs are something you probably couldn’t have found out simply by researching solar energy companies’ websites or even talking to them — as these are the kind of issues that may be very specific to the kind of building that is in question, and so on… Something that came to mind was a fund for certain neighborhoods / landlords to cover those fees. That could be a result of fundraising (as the state is already giving tax credit and won’t probably chip in anything more…)

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  21. Being that my design project is based around sex trafficking of young women and children in the United States i decided to research on the problems and solutions with this issue. I looked into the Polaris Project and Restore to see how people are getting involved. My first question like many others i assume is, how is this a growing and wide spread problem anywhere but specifically in the United States, how is this still going? So i wanted to approach this differently and look into the things with sex trafficking that defer us from making major resolutions. First, is the criminalizing of sex trafficking victims here in the U.S. It has been illegal in the United states since 2000 with the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, making it illegal to recruit, harbor, transport, provide or obtain a person under the age of 18 years for the purpose of a commercial sex act. After this in 2006 according to the Department of justice 1,600 children were arrested for prostitution and this changed my view because i continued to see a lot of information on many victims building such a record over something they aren’t in control of. The victimized children are usually very young too so this is saddening. Now i believe i need to also look into legislation and realizing not only do we have to help our victims try to slowly but surely function in society, rescue and locate young children “missing”, but we also need to combat laws that criminalize them and make it hard from them to move on. Especially because in my project i want to rehabilitate these young women and help them heal and I’m sure most of them will have records so we must try to make reforms. In all my housing will be a home to help women and the cab service will help them pay it forward while advocating to make changes with the law.

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    1. Interesting, Marissa. So perhaps your next step, before the more hands-on rehabilitation work, is to do policy advocacy. I’m sure you can partner with organizations related to criminal justice reforms – would that be the next step to explore?

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  22. I researched online some statistics on the help people living in poverty are receiving in New York City in all the boroughs and the numbers I found were very surprising. According to the Robin Hood Poverty Tracker, 46% of New Yorkers have experienced one year or more of poverty, 53% suffered at least one year or more of material hardship which is a shortage of crucial resources such as health care, food, and money to pay all your bills. 41% of New Yorkers suffer from chronic health challenges affecting their ability to provide for their families because they are unable to work in most cases. 14% of New Yorkers are uninsured and 52% are in need of assistance whether it is given by a family member, government agency, or social services organization. Of that 52% only 44% of them sought out the assistance they needed, 40% got “some” assistance, and 23% got all the help they needed. 60% of New Yorkers complained about the local health, sanitations, recreations, crime, and transportations services. See these statistics and me wanting to create a place that assists people to come out of poverty I now see that health problems are a big reason why a lot of people are poor today. My focus was to educate people and get them into the workforce to secure a stable income to live off but they also need better and more affordable services so they are not crippled financially and the can become healthier so they can continue to work and earn a living wage. With my idea to end poverty in New York, I think my center would be best served to work with Local government agencies and other social service organizations to improve the current services in place as well as making some of those services available at the center at little to no cost to the people.

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  23. I researched intensive investigations into the link between innovation, infrastructure and development in poverty stricken areas.Even though my design plan was centered inner city areas in the US, the investigation gave me a really large insight into what can be done from global examples.The biggest problem to innovation worldwide are the polices that surround these countries.In the poorest developing countries, markets unfortunately fail to fulfill this driving role. Developing country markets are often small, fragmented and imperfect, due to lack of infrastructure, low per capita incomes, misguided policies and institutional constraints. The political stability, predictability and transparency, peace and other institutional prerequisites for the functioning of markets are often absent. Based on my research, I didn’t really change my views because I knew the blocks of innovation. I became more concrete in the fact that I am focusing on the right design plan in starting at the most basic level with education of the youth and placing emphasis on education in lower end communities. My project in a nutshell is too boost innovation and entrepunership in low income areas by holding innovation fairs and petitioning local school boards to promote innovation fundamentals at an early age.

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    1. Jairus: Your plan seems to be well set up from the start. But what are these “intensive investigations”? What did you research? How can you look at global examples for such a context as NYC – why did you decide to search for inspiration that way?

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