Health.Right.Now

We educate youth about how artificial intelligence can be applied to solve public health issues, including climate change.

Photo of Themi Perera
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Eligibility: Please confirm you meet all the following criteria

  • You are aged between 14 - 18 as of August 1, 2020
  • You live in the United States or its territories
  • You are not employed by, or directly related (grand parents, parents or siblings) to a current General Motors (GM) or Ashoka employee
  • You have been working on this project for at least three months
  • You consent to us possibly featuring your work on social media
  • You confirm you have the rights to use and share any content uploaded on this entry form

Eligibility: Date of Birth

06/01/2004

What gender do you identify with?

  • Female

Help us stay in touch!

Claire Swadling (Preferred) (Collaborator and co-founder) 734-453-3456 41943 E Ann Arbor Trl, Plymouth, MI 48170 Themi Perera 747-207-5003 9910 McBroom St, CA, 91040

Website or social media url(s) (optional):

healthrightnow.org (website), @health.right.now (Instagram)

Date You Started Your Project Started

9/5/18

Project Stage: Select the description below that best applies to your approach.

  • Established (successfully passed early phases, have a plan for the future)

1. The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

Human actions are causing great harm to our environment. From carbon emissions to habitat destruction, we have made actions without considering the damage done to our home. We can remedy this, but not enough people are aware of the problem or the most effective technologies we have. The first step to solving the planet’s problems is to teach everyone how to make sustainable decisions and how to use the power of new technology, such as AI.

2. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

Our solution is education through youth-led workshops related to using AI to solve public health and environmental issues, using the message “health for both our world and our bodies”. We acomplish this through building a network of school clubs in which we organize initiatives such as virtual and in-person workshops. At Health.Right.Now, we believe that we need to educate the next generation of advocates with the tools they need to take on the problems of the future, and our workshops allow young activists to find the community they need.

3. Using STEM as a force of good: Please specify how are you using STEM to solve for an environmental challenge you are passionate about.

We utilize STEM through education. Our programs always begin with a crash course on AI, from the essentials like naive bayes, to more complex functions, such as stochastic gradient descent and error calculation. We also highlight supervised and unsupervised learning algorithms in order to build a foundation for students to connect to our focus: the intersection of climate science and health care. By combing STEM and advocacy, we are instilling students with the awareness about problems and the means to solve them.

4. Personal Journey: What’s the story behind why you decided to start this project?

When co-founders Themi and Claire met, they each already had deep reasons for their interests in conservation and health, respectively. Themi fell in love with nature at a young age, and when she learned about climate change and pollution, she felt a responsibility to protect people from the consequences that would come. Ever since our co-founder Claire Swadling’s father passed away from cancer, she has been dedicated to preventing tragedies for others through public health education for all. These two girls met at summer camp and bonded over their interest in AI, seeing in it possibilty to change the world. They combined their passions together to form HRN.

5. Video (Keep it simple, a video made on a hand-held phone is great): Please upload a 1-minute video to YouTube that answers the following “I am stepping up to be a Changemaker because...”

https://youtu.be/MA9_oikY3MM

6. Please highlight the key activities you have carried out to bring your project to life.

We hosted "AI4Earth", an online summit for students to learn about the applications of AI to climate science, featuring a crash course in AI and 2 guest speakers, a professor from UPenn and the CEO of Omdena. Currently, we are sponsoring an "AI4Earth" art contest. We also ran "AI4Health", a workshop for students in grades 5-12 to learn about AI in healthcare at the University of Michigan, supported by a grant from AI4ALL with over 70 people in attendance featuring 3 UM faculty guest speakers.

7. The X Factor: What is different about your project compared to other programs or solutions already out there?

The uniqueness of our approach lies in our faith in youth: we believe in empowering students to change the world by sparking interest and fueling education in artificial intelligence, an emerging technology that is changing the world faster than we can imagine. We accomplish this through school clubs in which we give youth the power to decide how they want to combine AI and advocacy, as well as organizing larger events to engage our school club creators.

8. Impact: In the last three months, please detail the impact your project has made?

In the last three months, we've worked on our Earth Day campagin and adapting it to the current social distancing situation. On May 2nd, we hosted our AI4Earth virtual summit, featuring Dr. David Rolnick of UPenn and Rudradeb Mitra, CEO and Founder of Omdena as guest speakers. We are also running AI4EArth themed art contest. We've also taught AInspire, a virtual AI in biology workshop, and collaborated with other youth-led organizations, such as an Instagram Takeover with GirlGenius Magazine, bringing us to over 500 impacted in total.

9. What’s Next: What are your ideas for taking your project to the next level?

In the rest of this year, we want to host larger scale workshops and collaborate with bigger initaitves. We are working to advertise our current virtual workshops to reach a wider audience, and a second commmunity of involved youth is being built in Los Angeles in addition to that in Michigan. Some of the organizations we'd like to collaborate with include Hannah4Change, Youth Climate Coalition, and even Sunrise Movement. We would also like to branch into other disciplines to unite more people behind our cause. We want to explore working with artists to find ways to inspire people, adding the A to STEAM. In all of these cases, the key to growth is collaboration, and we want to work together with others to build a better future.

10. Please share how you have influenced other young people to get involved in your project and/or care about environmental sustainability.

One of our favorite success stories happened after our AI4Earth summit. A student eagerly messaged us after the workshop, saying “will there be more events like this in the future? I would love to participate “. She wanted to get involved in any way possible; we had sparked her passion. We helped her realize she could combine her love for computer science with environmental acitvism. Students like this become fully-fledged activists in their own right, and helping them is what keeps us going.

11. Please share ideas of how you can partner with other changemakers to make a difference?

We look forward to collaborating on projects with other initiatives, whether it's through simply advertising each other's events, starting an online challenge together, or hosting a nation-wide virtual summer camp. We want to combine our change-making methods in order to increase our impact. In fact, we have already partnered with 22 other youth-led and STEM-related organizations in hopes of a healthier tomorrow.

12. How would you engage others who have never heard about your project to get their buy-in?

AI and climate change are both growing in importance to our world - climate change as a daunting problem, AI as a powerful problem-solver. As the climate crises grows more and more dire, we uncover more about and create a greater market for AI. Through our initiatives, we can both educate and advocate at the same time. We both empower our youth to fight for their futures and give them a skill they can support it with.

13. Finances: If applicable, have you mobilized any of the following resources so far?

  • Friend support
  • Family support
  • Mentors/advisors
  • Donations less than $100
  • Donations between $100-$1k

References

Scott Obsniuk - Scott.obsniuk@pccsk12.com,734-306-5015 Wen Swadling - swadling118@yahoo.com, 734-453-3456 Sewvandi Perera - sewvi@yahoo.com, 818-281-5397

Are you employed, or directly related (grand-parents, parents, sibling) to a GM or Ashoka employee?

  • No

Help Us Support Diversity! Part 1 [optional] Which of the following categories do you identify with?

  • Asian (for example: Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese, Pakistani) (9)

Help Us Support Diversity! Part 2 [optional] Do you identify as part of any of the following underrepresented communities?

  • Communities of color
  • Religious minority (non-Christian)

How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Social media
  • Recommended by others

Referral: If you discovered the Challenge thanks to an organization or person other than Ashoka or General Motors, who was it?

AI4ALL

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Spam
Photo of Emily Chen
Team

Love this! Esp. with the application of AI, I'm looking forward to see your applications :)

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