The SUCCESS! app gives you the key to effectively engage your community about different environmental issues in order to make a difference.

Photo of Caleb Bondzi
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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

May 18, 2004

What gender do you identify with?

  • Male

Help us stay in touch!

Phone number: 618-519-0712 Mailing Address: 8 Holly Drive, Apt. 35 Illinois: Carbondale (62902)

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

Youtube URL: Instagram: c.bondzi18

Date You Started Your Project Started

July 16, 2019

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

  • Growth (have moved past the very first activities; working towards the next level of expansion)

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

There is lack of awareness that surrounds certain environmental and sustainability issues. Although some environmental issues may be shown on the news or social media, there are countless others that fall through the cracks. People can't give their support and offer their help for an issue if they don't know the issue exists, and this is the problem that SUCCESS! is helping to solve.

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

Our solution to the lack of awareness surrounding many environmental and sustainability issues is an app that allows the user to build a filter that they can use on their photos and videos for social media, and saves created filters for others to use on their own social media posts. Using someone's face in the social media post is recommended to get the most out of filters. The SUCCESS! filters, coupled with a visual social media post, are used to raise awareness and engage people about the different environmental and sustainability issues affecting individual communities, and the world. Our approach not only engages the people who view these posts to create more awareness by using the filters on our app for themselves, but also to become changemakers within their own communities; and this is the key to SUCCESS!. As more and more people use a particular filter on social media, the more the environmental challenge being shown on that filter is presented to youths and other members of the community, creating a spark that gets people thinking of ways to help solve and support that challenge; and that spark turns into the flame that fuels a new wave of changemakers in a community!

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.

SUCCESS! gives people the key to engaging their community about issues happening in their own community, and the world around them by using the power of augmented reality. Augmented reality is the act of placing something fake into the real world, and SUCCESS! harnesses this technology to create awareness about environmental issues in the form of visual filters. The filters created and used in our app act as the fake elements that are placed onto a picture you take, which is the real world element. Prototypes for our filter designs , like the Amazon Rainforest Fire, were completed in a program called SPARK AR. This program allowed us to create filters with 3D text and face tracking technology, giving SUCCESS! filters the capability to be used on photos and videos. We believe that the more people you can engage and make aware of a problem, the more support and help you can gain for solving the issue. Our passion stems from bringing communities together to support the environment we live in and the inspiring individuals in those communities, in order to make a positive impact. It is this cooperative effort that will solve the environmental challenges facing today's world.

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

In March of 2019, one of my neighbors started his own small business. He was an international student at Southern Illinois University, and was trying to introduce Thai ice cream to the Carbondale food scene. Unfortunately, by the end of May, he had to close his doors before he really got a chance to start because he wasn't able to successfully advertise his business. We wanted to create an app that could be used as a tool for local businesses to effectively spread the word about their services through social media. Then, we realized that this same approach can be applied to raise awareness about environmental issues facing the world, and decided that the purpose of our app should be to allow people to create filters that help raise awareness about all issues, from small business to the environment, so that every challenge the world faces can receive the attention and support it deserves.

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...”

I am stepping up to be a changemaker because I want to engage my community and the world in order to make a difference. It is important that people become aware of the economical and environmental challenges facing their communities and happening in the world around them, and there is no one person who can solve these challenges alone. Because it is only when a community is in support of a common goal that change can be accomplished.

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

Our team went through multiple design prints to sketch out what the SUCCESS! app would look like, built a prototype for the filter feature of the our app using SPARK AR, and identified different businesses and organizations would be able to beta test our app once it has been further developed.

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

While most filters are used for aesthetic purposes, SUCCESS! is the only filter making app that serves people trying to raise awareness and gain support from their communities through social media about the environmental challenges that the world faces. This approach can help bring a community together to tackle an issue, and allows for many new and creative ideas to be contributed to a challenge, giving more chances for a successful outcome. Our app's ability to create 3D text that tracks your facial movements also allows for videos, along with pictures, to be made using our filters.

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

We are currently in the idea stage of SUCCESS!, our plan to know if our app is making a difference is by creating a hashtag for social media posts that use SUCCESS! filters, that way we can track how many people are using the features in our app across different platforms like Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and Facebook.

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

Our next step is to begin doing market research by surveying people to see what other features, or add-ons, could be added to the SUCCESS! to make it even better.This will take place from May, 15, 2020 to August 31, 2020. Afterwards, we will start to identify and partner with app developers that can help us to continue working on our app and bring it to life. Once the SUCCESS! app has been thoroughly developed, we plan to release it to local businesses and advocacy groups in Carbondale and Chicago for beta testing. Our aim is to start beta testing by May 2021.

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

The SUCCESS! app is a tool that helps its user to create awareness and gain support, but it also encourages and inspires the people who see its filters to become changemakers themselves. By presenting people with environmental and sustainability issues they weren't previously aware of, SUCCESS! ignites a spark in young people to think about and contribute their own ideas in order to successfully make a positive change in their community.

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

We can start by sharing our ideas about how we can positively impact the environment and sustainability. From there we can find ways to support each other and our ideas by providing resources for growth, or combining our separate ideas and collaborating on one big project that can make a difference!

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

In order to get the buy-ins of others who have never heard of SUCCESS!, my teammates and I will contact the STEM professionals that we networked with last summer at SMASH Illinois through email, LinkedIn, text, etc. We would also advertise our idea through our individual social media accounts and the SUCCESS! Youtube Channel.

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

  • Friend support
  • Family support
  • Mentors/advisors


Nana Bondzi (mom): (618)-305-3800 Tracie Screven: (312)-450-5644 Cornelius Bondzi (dad): (757)-604-7809

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?

  • Black or African American (for example: African American, Jamaican, Haitian, Nigerian, Ethiopian, Somalian, etc) (8)

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

  • Communities of color

How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Recommended by others
  • Email

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

I discovered the Challenge thanks to SMASH Academy. Specifically from Ms. Tracie Screven, the Site Director for SMASH Illinois.

Evaluation results

7 evaluations so far

1. Overall evaluation

Yes, absolutely! - 0%

Probably - 42.9%

Maybe - 42.9%

Probably not - 14.3%

No - 0%

2. CONNECTION to Environmental Sustainability

5 - Absolutely! It is totally clear that the solution is contributing directly to environmental sustainability and/or addressing climate change - 28.6%

4 — Yes, it establishes a connection to environment/ climate change but could be stronger - 28.6%

3 — Somewhat, the entry speaks to this environmental sustainability, but the direct impact is not well established - 28.6%

2 — Not really, the connection to environment/ climate is very weak - 14.3%

1 — No. The entry does not have a reference the solution’s impact on environment and/or climate change - 0%

No Answer or No Connection - 0%

3. Is this entry CREATIVE?

5 - Yes, absolutely! - 16.7%

4 - Yes, I think so - 16.7%

3 - Maybe - 50%

2 - Probably not. - 16.7%

1 - No - 0%

No Answer - 0%

4. Does this entry demonstrate a COMMITMENT to changemaking?

5 - Yes, absolutely! - 0%

4 - Yes, I think so - 100%

3 - Maybe - 0%

2 - Probably not - 40%

1 - No - 0%

No Answer - 0%

5. Does this entry value CHANGEMAKING through collaboration with other stakeholders in its approach?

5 - Yes, absolutely! - 0%

4 - Yes, I think so - 14.3%

3 - Maybe - 71.4%

2 - Probably not - 14.3%

1 - No - 0%

No Answer - 0%

6. Is this entry VIABLE financially and operationally?

5 -Yes, absolutely! - 16.7%

4- Yes, I think so - 33.3%

3- Maybe - 50%

2- Probably not - 0%

1- No - 0%

No Answer - 0%

7. FEEDBACK: What are the strengths of this project?

CONNECTION: You have a great understanding and personal connection to the problem - 100%

CREATIVITY: You have researched existing solutions, and have developed unique, thoughtful new solutions to aid environmental sustainability/combat climate change - 66.7%

COMMITMENT: You have a thoughtful plan for growing your business, and your founding team has a strong combination of leadership and knowledge-based skills - 66.7%

CHANGEMAKER QUALITY: You value thinking around how to activate other changemakers and empower them to care about your cause. You also have a clearly defined plan on how to collaborate across multiple stakeholders - 33.3%

IMPACT MEASUREMENT: You use specific numbers and evidence to describe what your project has achieved so far (or plan to achieve in the future) and you have a plan for measuring impact - 0%

VIABLITY: You have given a great deal of thought to not just the idea itself but how to make it work from a financial perspective in the present and future - 66.7%

Other option - 0%

8. FEEDBACK: What are some areas for improvement for this project?

CONNECTION: Why you care about the environment/ climate was unclear – It would be great to elaborate on what this solution means to you, personally and how it affects you and/or your community. - 20%

CREATIVITY: Be more specific in your description of the research you have done into the past solutions to this problem and focus on how your solution is unique and innovative - 40%

COMMITMENT: Your plan for growing the organization can benefit from more specifics. How can you round out the various skills of your current leadership team to make the project a long-term success? - 40%

CHANGEMAKER QUALITY: Try to provide more insights into how you are activating changemakers and empowering them to innovate through your product or programming. How will they care about environment/climate if they currently do not? Think about how to create value for all stakeholders, not just immediate beneficiaries - 20%

IMPACT MEASUREMENT: Provide specific instances of your social impact and how you plan to measure impact – it may be helpful to describe the beneficiaries, products and programming, and provide evidence of (or plan for) how to measure impact - 100%

VIABILITY: Make sure you have provided descriptive information about your financial sustainability plan. Where do the funds come from now and do you have a concrete plan for future sustainability? - 20%

Nothing – I thought everything was great! - 0%

Other option - 0%

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Team (2)

Caleb's profile
Kenshon's profile
Kenshon Ducksworth

Role added on team:

"We had another teammate named Lashunia Jones who played an equally big role in developing this idea, but due to a family emergency, she wasn't able to make an account and be added as a teammate."

Attachments (1)

Photos for SUCCESS (1).pdf

In this attachment are photos of the design sprints our team went through in the beginning stages of our project.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Alexander Forchette

I love this idea! Using social media to spread awareness about these issues is awesome. I am curious how you plan to make money off the app. And are users able to create filters about issues they are passionate about, or does SUCCESS! design and create all of the filters? You are off to a great start. Using STEM to make the world a better place. I am excited to see this take off, you are a true changemaker!

Photo of Caleb Bondzi

Alexander Forchette  Thank you! We plan to have the general features and designs available for anybody who downloads our app, and then have special designs and certain add-ons only be available after purchase in order to make money off the app. As for filter creation, users can create a filter about any issue or topic they are passionate about, from the environment to social justice, using the designs provided by SUCCESS!

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