Being A Big

Bridging the Gap, Leaving an Impact. Be the Change You Once Needed.

Photo of Kijana Hurd

Written by

Eligibility: Are you employed by T-Mobile or related to an employee of T-Mobile?

  • No

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

Snapchat: dancer_kj Instagram : kj.hurd

Date Started


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

  • Idea (hoping to get started in the future)

1. Personal Journey: What’s the story behind why you decided to start this project? NOTE: All applications must include a 1 minute video that answers: “I am stepping up to make change because..."

Growing up we all had people we looked up to whether they were a negative or positive influence. As I look back at the role models that were present for people close to my age group had ,I realized they were slim to none. When I look at this current generation and my own I realize the difference a caring heart, listening ear, extended hand, and motivational push can/could make. We all need some safe haven and support system to keep us goal driven, on the right track, and influencing each generation to be better than the next. Something my generation and the following ones lacked. I'll be the first to say that I was influenced negatively and positively by the people that were presented before me. No one took being a role model serious when I was younger. Now I see that effect that it had on me as well as my peers. Every one of every age needs someone. I want to be that someone!

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

The problem is high school drop outs, teen pregnancy becoming the new norm, and teens that are at risk of committing crimes and falling into prison system. Things like this have increased tremendously because no one wants to get their hands dirty and be the change that everyone talks about. If no one steps up to help this current and next generation and every generation after that the problem will only increase.

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

Reaching out to the community, the schools, and organizations like The Boys & Girls Clubs and create a place without judgement or ridicule. Something like a safe haven where the youth can come and not be turned away because of their living situation or past. A place where they can learn the importance of education , abstinence and being a vessel rather than a problem. Create an atmosphere that makes the youth want to get an education, help them understand the importance of abstinence and why it's such a rewarding thing, and let them know that they don't always have to be part of the In Crowd because the in-crowd may put you in a crowd that you don't want to be in later on in life.

4. Example: Please walk us through a specific example of what happens when a person or group gets involved with your project.

There's a preacher in Corinth,Mississippi, by the name of Brother Gary. He's one of the very few people here who reaches out to the area youth. He opens his church to help them but I feel like that needs to be on a bigger scale and more people being involved to help turn things around. He's made a change in so many young men's lives. He kept their heads in their books, gave them a place to be instead of the streets, and did everything he could to help in anyway. The only thing is he only helped troubled athletes. There's so many more youth boys and girls who need that same encouragement ,that same love, and that same safe place. I feel my ability to empathize and relate to every single race and gender of all ages and all walks of life makes me more capable to understand , reach out, and relate to certain things that older people and people who've only been sheltered won't understand.

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

My approach, transparency, empathy ,and first hand experience going through these things will make this program different from any other one. Not only that but my inside desire to want to change things not just for my state, my community ,but worldwide because things are just getting worse especially in today's society. We need things and people who are willing to reach out, love,and be willing to get their hands dirty when no one else chooses to or wants to. Someone that understands that it won't be easy to get through to each youth right away but the change so much they'll put the time in.

6. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?

I'm just in idea stage right now but I want my program to impact people world-wide & nationwide to step up and be the change that they want to see. To invest the time ,money, facilities, and personal experience so that the youth can grow,learn, and be a productive person in society . Also start a trend of furthering education, practicing abstinence, and drawing the youth towards positive outlets.

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

To take this to the next level I feel that we should reach out to athletes, entertainers,corporations, and other positive influences to help three or four seniors in each place the program is launched. Have them & the program each year help with graduation, prom,and start a scholarship fund for those seniors that are apart of the program.

8. Future Support: What are the resources needed to make your vision a reality?

Publicity ,fines, a facility, and most of all a strong team of people who are dedicated to the cause of helping and "Bridging the Gaps"that are needed within each and every community around the world. I would like to work with schools,other scholarship programs,athletes,corporations and other people l to get this going. Not just for the state of Mississippi but all states and preferably further than that.

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

  • Friend support
  • Family support
  • Mentors/advisors

10. Ripple Effect: Please share some ideas of how you could partner with other changemakers or involve other young people as leaders in making a difference.

I know and understand the benefits of working with people and involving people from other walks of life. Who've overcome obstacles, beat the odds, and became successful influential and positive people. Would love that type of support and I've ran the idea past my friends, family, and other people that I know that are successful and would be willing to help. They're all open to the idea and the program itself and willing to help.

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
  • Low-income community
  • Other

How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Social media
  • T-Mobile page or contact
  • Ashoka page or contact

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

Jay Versace and John Legere


Join the conversation:

Photo of Isaiah Johnson

As someone who has a supportive safespace/ community and an entreprenuer who's approach to a problem is being the solution, I highly support your project. Youth definitely need supportive ecosystems that can build them up, and counsel them. I hope you make it far with this project!

Photo of Taylor

With me being a sophomore in Chicago this would be something that could really be helpful and great for young ladies like myself.

Photo of Kijana Hurd

I definitely want to reach out to all the communities that need healing the Chicago area! I'd love to connect with you and help any way I can.

Photo of Jeremy Lang

To see something like this manifest into this beautiful thing it could for so many young that overlooked and thrown to the side. This could be a game changer. So many people can honestly relate to this more than people realize. Appreciate the thought to take program and not just focus on one place but all places it's amazing to me.

Photo of Kijana Hurd

I want to uplift and change the world one community at a time!

Photo of Laney

For someone so young to have a vision like this gives me chills! I would love to help with something and I'm sure with the state of our nation something lime this could mend so many communities and young lives! I'm all for it!

Photo of Kijana Hurd

I need all the help I can get. This is something very near and dear to my heart!

Photo of Landon

With me being considered a minority and growing up South Central something like this would've and still could change the way so many people view life. Something like this could restore hope and give the youth a support system the generations before never had. This gave me chills.

Photo of Raquel

A program like this could do so many amazing things for young people! If the right funding and people get involved with this it definitely could change many lives.

Photo of Kiji

This is very much needed everywhere