An incentive program that encourages teens with type one diabetes to better manage their blood sugar by rewarding them for staying in range.

Photo of Charlotte Rose LaMotte
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Are you employed by T-Mobile or related to an employee of T-Mobile?

  • No

Eligibility: Date of Birth

June 3, 2001

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3005 O Street, NW Washington, DC 20007 (202)-834-0858

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Date You Started Your Project Started

My journey to start A1Centive was September of 2017. It existed as an idea for a while. I launched the pilot program 01/01/2019.

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?

Over two-thirds of teenagers with type one diabetes are not achieving good blood sugar control. Poor blood sugar control can lead to dire health effects in both the short and long term. There are many reasons why teenagers are not in good blood sugar control. One of the main reasons, which A1Centive addresses, is diabetic burnout, a combination of hormones, social influence, and lack of motivation, leading to conscious mismanagement.

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

A1Centive is an incentive program that encourages teens with type one diabetes to better manage their blood sugar by rewarding them for each day they stay in range. We aim to improve the lives of these teens by encouraging them to lead a healthier lifestyle and create good, long-term habits. Participants submit their blood sugar levels each day. At the end of the month, they receive prizes based on how many days they stay in range. So far, the prize has been $2 per day for perfect blood sugar numbers and $1 per day for only having high or low levels. The program is based on insights from behavioral economics showing that incentive programs can work to improve outcomes that depend on individual behaviors. While we recognize that there are many reasons someone may experience poor blood sugar management, A1Centive is addressing a problem that can be solved if people are incentivized to do so. Funding for the program is currently from individuals. In the long term, we hope that companies that hold a direct stake in improving diabetes management, such as insurance companies, will invest because the cost of diabetes complications are twice the cost of regular management.

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

When I was six years old, I was diagnosed with type one diabetes. Nobody I knew had type one. I felt lost and alone. While in the hospital, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation reached out. Soon after, I was introduced to Annie. Annie was a few years older and served as a T1D role model for me. Because of her, I got involved with JDRF and found that serving my community made me feel less alone. Like Annie, I have also tried my best to improve the lives of my T1D peers. When the LearnServe International Fellows Program, which teaches the skills of social entrepreneurship, asked their signature question - "what pisses you off in your community?" - my answer was, and is, the mismanagement of blood sugar by teenage diabetics. I know as well as anyone that diabetes is really hard to control. However, with an added bonus, it is certainly doable.

4. Selfie Elevator Pitch: Include 1-minute video that answers the following “I am stepping up to make change because...”

Hello! My name is Charlotte Rose, and I am stepping up to make change because I have directly benefitted from youth contributing to their community. When I was first diagnosed with type one at age six, I felt scared and alone. Until I met Annie. Annie was a few years older and a volunteer with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, now JDRF. Annie showed me what was possible not just in spite of, but because of my diabetes...

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

Charlie (name changed) was diagnosed with type one diabetes a little over a year ago. I connected with him through a family friend. The two of us went out for dinner, and I think I learned just as much from him as he did from me. When I finally got the A1Centive program up and running, I reached out to Charlie to see if he was a good fit. He was doing a good job of managing after school, but he ran high during the day, so he joined. During his month in the pilot program, Charlie received the most rewards. Since then, Charlie has stayed involved with A1Centive and active in the T1D community.

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

Right now, there is nothing that is addressing the issue of blood sugar mismanagement other than doctors telling their patients that they need to do better. Studies have shown that incentive programs have improved grades in teens and have improved healthcare management for cardio patients. A1Centive is the first incentive program specifically for teens with T1D. This is not working because over two-thirds of teenage diabetics are not achieving their goals. While we would love to see a world without type one diabetes, A1Centive is working to improve the lives of those dealing with it now.

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

Our pilot program was small, only five participants, and short, lasting only one month, but held promising results. 100% of participants said they paid more attention to diabetes management as they were being rewarded for it and that they would recommend the program to a friend. The type one diabetes community is large and close-knit, so accessing participants will not be an issue when the project scales.

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

I am attempting to create an app to scale the project. The app would allow for more participants. Those participants would be able to track their blood sugars and rewards with greater ease and communicate with others in the program. The communication aspect is another important way to encourage improved blood sugar management. A peer support network with others who understand how difficult type one can be is a great way to keep people on track and motivated. I have spoken to an app developer and created a wireframe. Unfortunately, the app is too expensive to make for us right now. Therefore, I am also working on receiving larger funding grants.

9. Which of the following types of expertise would be most useful for you?

  • Web/Mobile Development

10. 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

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

  • White (for example: German, Irish, English, Italian, Polish, French) (6)

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

  • LGBTQ community
  • Religious minority (non-Christian)

How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Recommended by others
  • Word of mouth

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

LearnServe International, a DC based nonprofit that teaches youth the skills of social entrepreneurship.

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1 comment

Join the conversation:

Photo of Tia Johnston Brown

Charlotte Rose this is incredible! I love the idea and you. I can see that you are going to take the idea to fruition. Way to go!