Dream School Tour

Tour any College any time

Photo of moses mbugua
8 1

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

  • No

Eligibility: Date of Birth

04/06/199812/15/1997

Where are you located:

State 1: Tacoma WA 98447 | State 2: Tacoma WA 98447

Date Started

05/31/2018

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

  • Idea (hoping to get started in the future)

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

We are working to make college tours more accessible for low-income student. Making college tours more accessible means students are able to make a better decision about the school they want go to, and college tours help students know whether a school feels like home or not. Current programs that do college tours are limited in how many students they can take, and where they can go.

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

Our solution is to create a live tour system where a student from anywhere they have internet access, can participate in a live college tour. Part 1 of the tour system is having a camera system that goes with wherever a tour group goes, the camera system would send live video to the student, and the student would have a 360-degree view of the campus. The student would be able to hear all the other students questions, All the student has to worry about is just listening and watching the live experience. At the start of each college tour a student would pay just $50, we hope to make packages where a student can view multiple colleges for less than $150. An average tour of multiple schools can cost $300-$700 which includes $100- $500 for transportation (driving - taking a plane), $40+ for food. Also if a student is touring multiple colleges then they also need to account for housing costs so that means $90 per night at a hotel. Not only are we making college tours accessible for low-income students but for all other students because college tours are also a large time commitment which not all students are able to do especially during the school year.

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

For our service a student would go to our future site, they would choose a college they want to visit ex; Harvard, Yale and set an appointment for their tour. When it's time for their tour, they would log on to our site, and our system would pull up the live tour of the college and the tour would start, When they are on the tour they would be in a group of other students taking a tour, they would hear other students questions, and hear everything the tour guide is saying.

With the live tour system, a student needs only 2-3 hours for their tour. If they were to do an actual tour, they would need to set aside a whole day for traveling to the college + the tour itself, The live tour system helps a student see a holistic view of the college rather than looking at a picturesque view of the college. The holistic view means being able to see both the good and bad parts of a college.

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

We are making the closest experience to a physical college tour as possible that is live and interactive where a student gets to interact with the tour guide and really see what a college is like. The alternatives to our project are programs like YouVisit which offer a virtual tour but are not live, you don’t get to ask the tour guide questions, and you only see the college when it is at its best. With our system, we hope a student can view any college across the country, at any time of the year, and as many times as a student wants for a fraction of the cost.

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

A short-term metric for knowing that our project is making a difference for students is knowing how many students have been able to take a college tour with our system and had an enjoyable experience. A long-term metric that helps show the impact of our project is the testimonials of new college students (especially ones from low-income backgrounds) that used our tour system which talk about how their college tour really helped them believe in the dream of being at the college they are attending.

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

In the future, we hope that we will be able to use our homeschool Pacific Lutheran University as a test site for our program, and then start enrolling other colleges in the Puget sound such as University of Washington, Northwest University, Seattle University etc. We hope to be able to talk to prestigious schools like Stanford or Harvard and have them be test sites for our project.

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

The resources needed for making our vision possible is more team members that can create a website, launch a marketing strategy, more funding at least $7000, cameras that shoot live video, a partnership with a software company to handle the streaming of our videos to make them interactive.

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.

We have been able to gain a mentor named Al Herron who is a businessman and engineer who can guide us through building a startup. We were able to enroll Al to be our mentor by just asking him if he could help guide us as we make a new business. We want to involve other young people, by finding young talent that are capable in website development, marketing, business management, software development, customer interactions. Are simple strategy to enrolling other young leaders is by sharing with friends and peers about our project, showing them how the project is beneficial to them,showing them how much of a difference they would being making for other students and the role they would have in the project.

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)
  • Hispanic, Latino/a, or Spanish origin (for example: Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuba, Salvadoran, Dominican, Colombian) (7)
  • 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?

  • Word of mouth

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

Marisa Etzell

8 comments

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Photo of Elizabeth Hooper
Team

I love this idea so much! College is already a huge financial commitment and going on tours just adds to that. I would like to see you get some donations or build some startup cash and actually implement the technology in your college tours to see how it's received before launching into a full on marketing strategy. This way you have actual data for donors to consider. Please keep working on this project!

Photo of moses mbugua
Team

Yeah funds are definitely needed in order for me to get this project rolling. And my mentor has told me about focusing on a minimum viable product before showing this product to investors.

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