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Real-world Issues

Top ten issues contributed by Elevate 2019 attendees

1. How do we help families and students with undiagnosed learning disabilities, such as dyslexia, take steps and access resources for early intervention? (Kristy M. Kennesaw, GA) 
Campaign for regulated testing of dyslexia and raise awareness of its signs within schools, families and the communities to increase early diagnosis in children. Create resources and support for diagnosed kids and families through talks, campaigns and regular meetings partnering with schools and trained teachers. 

2. How do we care for the elderly, especially shut-ins, and create meaningful interactions between teens and the elderly? (Andrea P. Trumbull, CT) 
Develop a program that connects teenagers and elderly shut-ins in the neighborhood to promote visiting hours, assisting, meals and activities. Create a link between generations and work through issues as loneliness and anxiety not only amongst the elderly shut-ins, but also within the volunteers by exposing both sides to a new perspective. 

3. How do we reduce the use of plastic at a school campus in São Paulo, Brazil and increase environmental conscientiousness? (Giulia D. São Paulo, Brazil) 
Educate people about the effects of plastic waste in nature and provide other options for people to choose over plastic. Using multimedia solutions at Mackenzie Presbyterian University in São Paulo, Brazil, start a movement changing plastic habits. 

4. How do we address misinformation about mental health and equip people to be able to talk with, support, and show compassion to their peers or family members struggling with mental illness? (Adah S. North Reading, MA) 
Raise awareness about the basic facts of mental health and spread correct information. Create a program that helps the whole family compassionately support their family members with a mental illness and better understand their experience.  

5. How do we address racism on social media, combat stereotypes, and celebrate diversity?  (Elie C. Boston, MA) 
Combat racism and microaggressions on social media through building positive self-image in people from different ethnic backgrounds, valuing abilities over race. Create community campaigns and activism to build perspective across ethnic groups, discussing racial issues in society.  

6. How do we build trust and develop relationships between the community and firefighter and police departments? (Macey B. Plano, TX) 
Promote connections between the first responders of the firefighter and police departments and the community through receptions and talks. Start conversations to create links and raise awareness of their importance, partnering with churches and homeowner’s associations. 

7. How do we stop the spread of normalization of Vapes and Juuls for underage teenagers? (James K. Kennesaw, GA) 
Increase the knowledge about the risks of using drugs by exposing the real effects of these sort of substances. Target the normalization of the use of Vapes and Juuls products and making it difficult to be purchased by underage. Create a curriculum and student-run programs to work at schools exposing the topic and starting conversations. 

8. How do we educate parents on the impact of early exposure to technology amongst kids and teenagers and raise awareness of the importance of parental guidance? (Ethan R. Wenham, MA) 
Educate parents on what their children could be exposed to when using technology without supervision. Create a class/curriculum offered to parents to teach practical tools on how to implement better control and periodically update this population of the new risks that are being brought up. 

9. How do we change the perception of environmental conservation and promote sustainable habits to become better stewards to the Earth? (Davis W. Frisco, TX) 
Create a club focused around the environment, increasing awareness around recycling and preservation. Reduce the negative impact upon the earth by changing habits and bringing awareness to God’s creation and our responsibility of taking care of it. 

10. How do we equip American teenagers to become better-informed voters and active citizens in their local communities? (Kristen S. Charlotte, NC) 
Use creative ways of educating teenagers on contrasting opinions and basic facts about the Bill of Rights. Create programs that allow students to learn through interaction, experiences and debates to become better informed and prepared to make decisions when voting.