Teaching the importance of rest, allowing people to be at their best.
Website or social media url(s) (optional):
October/ 1 / 2017
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. 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..."
2. The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?
We are working to improve the sleep of students at Universities throughout the nation. A study revealed that the average college undergraduate student gets 6 to 6.9 hours of sleep per night, while the average requirement is 8 hours. It is acknowledged that lack of sleep in college undergraduates is a problem, but it is rarely addressed. We are working to change the norm and educate college students about the benefits of getting increased sleep.
3. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.
We are constructing an e-package that schools will purchase from us via an annual subscription and put in place for their undergraduate students to complete. These modules consist of mini quizzes, animations, and videos that will help a student set up a better sleep schedule. We are a group of students ourselves at the University of Connecticut and will utilize the resources readily available for us to minimize production cost. This includes working with on-campus organizations, actors, and videographers.
4. Example: Please walk us through a specific example of what happens when a person or group gets involved with your project.
When a University purchases the e-package from us, it would be mandated for all students to complete. With large universities such as UConn, this reach will extend to 20,000+ students. The student will watch a series of videos and animations supported by research backed evidence on how to manage time better and get an adequate amount of sleep. These will be followed by quizzes to ensure that information is being retained throughout the program.
5. The X Factor: What is different about your project compared to other programs or solutions already out there?
At the moment, no other program such as Sleep Central exists. There are two mandated programs at our University: "alcohol . edu" and "not anymore" sexual harassment prevention training. Both were implemented at UConn and this inspired us to tackle another issue that plagues college students throughout the nation. In addition, we plan on using student feedback to shape the design of this program to something that will resonate with the age group we are trying to reach. We are seeking to intimately connect with our audience, a feat that many similar programs fail to accomplish.
6. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?
The Sleep Central program is still in the stages of development, and therefore our focus so far has been on engagement with our target audience. All of our team members are part of the Public Health Living and Learning Community at UConn, a group of students interested in education and advocacy. We utilized the Learning Community to gather thoughts on interest in such a program. We then conducted various surveys throughout a period of three months, whose data was compiled and presented in the "sleep central" pdf attached to this application.
7. What’s Next: What are your ideas for taking your project to the next level?
As outlined in our action plan (attached), we plan on:
Contact Initial Key Partners, Establish meetings by Sept 1, 2018
-UConn VP Student Affairs
-School of Fine Arts - Student Actors, Videographers
Build Relationships with these Key Partners
Construct the Sleep Central Module Based Learning Program
-Our goal is for a pilot program to run at UConn for the 2019 spring semester
Use student feedback from the pilot-run to improve the program
LONG TERM (2019)
-Use the program’s eventual success at UConn to negotiate contracts with other Universities.
8. Future Support: What are the resources needed to make your vision a reality?
The resources needed to make our vision a reality are primarily financial support. We currently have a small amount of funding from winning the Ashoka Youth Venture challenge at The University of Connecticut. However as we grow our program, we will require additional funding to cover start-up costs, including creating a brand image, a website, and connecting with Universities to discuss implementation and business opportunities.
9. Finances: If applicable, have you mobilized any of the following resources so far?
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.
Mentor Dida of Ashoka, a changemaker and social entrepreneur, has provided us great guidance in how to conquer our goals and make our vision a reality. Through his connections at Ashoka along with T-Mobile, we hope to connect with other changemakers that specialize in connecting with the college demographic. A keystone part of our project is reaching the college population in a way that does not feel like a chore to the student but rather a valued learning experience which conveys knowledge that can be applied not only to the rest of schooling but to the working world and beyond.
How did you hear about this challenge?
Participated in previous Ashoka challenges