Identify a Problem and Propose a Solution – Season 4
Anyone can participate and no previous experience is required. You have identified a problem or challenge in your community worth tackling.
In the heart of California’s great Central Valley—a mountain-walled plain some 400 miles long and 75 miles wide—Modesto Junior College (MJC) owes much to the fact that we inhabit the richest farming region in the world. Our brown loam soil is famous for supporting a vast array of bountiful crops, and some of the most important agro-industrial activities on the planet. But our people are just as rich as our soil. Hispanic, Italian, Portuguese, Chinese, Basque, Sikh, Swede, Assyrian, Ukrainian, Liberian, Hmong, Laotian, Wintun, Maidu, Miwok and Yokut families all call our valley home. And as the community’s college, MJC is the place for everyone in our area to study, grow, and begin a better future. Here you will build a career in your areas of interest, sharpen your skills while collaborating with other learners, hone your critical thinking, and solve real-life problems both inside and outside the classroom. Our mission is to empower students to discover opportunities and reach their goals through access to and inclusion in higher education. We value willingness to accept growth and embrace change to continuously improve our processes, curriculum, and services to be relevant to the needs of our students and community.
Active Competitions: 2023
In the Fall of 2023, there are two active categories of problem/solution projects at MJC. These competitions ask students and instructors to work with community leaders and organizers and institution partners to transform the classroom into an exploratory laboratory where learners build essential skill sets and better prepare for the future, all while helping solve the problems of our community. Deadline for submission is February 4, 2023 at 11:59PM.
Each of these following challenges seeks to foster innovation, creativity, problem-solving through collaboration, and flexibility by asking students to brainstorm, design, reflect, retool, and rethink while engaging local organizations, college alumni, and community leaders to build momentum for their big ideas.
- Identify a Problem and Propose a Solution in Your Community
- Solve a Problem in Your Community
Up to $10,000 in prizes to help fund a solution to a community problem your team has identified.
- 1st Place: up to $5,000
- 2nd Place: up to $3,000
- 3rd Place: up to $2,000
Identify a Problem and Propose a Solution in Your Community
This competition asks teams to identify a pressing community issue and to propose an innovative solution.
Deadline: February 4, 2023 at 11:59PM
How to Successfully Identify a Problem in Your Community?
- Collaborative: A team approach that enlists members of the community to identify a problem
- Social Impact: A problem, if solved, will have a positive and measurable impact on the community
What Are We Looking For in a Solution?
- Innovative: A solution with a novel approach to address a social problem
- Collaborative: A project that engages and enlists others
- Social Impact: A solution with a positive and measurable impact
Who Can Apply?
At least one registered MJC student must initiate the process, applying for a team to participate in the contest. The MJC student representative(s) on a team must be registered in at least one course at MJC during the Spring 2023, Summer 2023, or Fall 2023 semester.
There is no cost to participate in the competition and no prior experience is required.
One of the purposes of these competitions is to incentivize a goal or future achievement, so it is not necessary to have a solution implemented. Rather, a solution should be a well-thought-out proposal with some kind of prototyping, experimentation, or other evidence of viability.
- Joining The Competition
- Register on the website and create your user profile.
- Create or join a team. A team is required and must have a minimum of 2 members.
- Review the different competition types and start your application.
- Submit your application before the competition deadline(s).
- Evaluation of Submissions
- Once the applications are submitted, there will be a review period.
- Submissions will be reviewed by a select panel of experts.
- Approved submissions will be moved into the final round of judging.
- Judging & Selection Criteria
- Quality of Proposal: Is the proposed solution clearly defined and can it provide a quality outcome?
- Timeliness: Can the solution be implemented in a reasonable timeframe?
- Inclusivity: How well does the solution represent the key stakeholders within the community?
- Social Impact: What level of social impact does the solution provide to the members of the community?
How to Get Started
Below are helpful tips to get you started identifying local problems and/or solutions in your community:
- Talk to people in your community to find out what problems they are facing every day.
- Post problems you identify on social media, for instance on your neighborhood Facebook Group or on NextDoor asking for input. Read people’s posts to find out what issues are bothering them most.
- Talk to other students at your school — set up a table on campus with a sign asking for 5 minutes of their time to answer some questions. If possible, give away some snacks as a thank you; or create an online survey with questions about people’s community-related concerns and send it to your friends/family. Ask them to circulate it and to post it on their social media pages.
- Invite your friends/family to participate in a video brainstorming session where you can talk through everyone’s ideas about problems they deem important in the community.
- Skim the local newspaper to find out what issues reporters are writing about, or visit your local government’s website/blog to see what issues they’re talking about. Reach out to local government representatives: the local Bureau of Economic Development, the mayor’s office, etc. to ask them about local problems. You can also attend a city council meeting to get some more ideas!
- See these resources developed by Modesto Junior College, https://libguides.mjc.edu/CommonGround#s-lg-box-13983556 and http://commonground.blogs.yosemite.edu/, as well as Stanislaus County’s https://www.stancounty.com/ceo/econ-dev/pdf/ceds.pdf.
Before You Start Your Application
- You need a team of at least two individuals to apply.
- Use the “Save Draft” button to save your application before final submission.
- Pay attention to character and word limits.
- Your session will automatically time out after two hours.
- Submit your application by the submission deadline.
I have chosen to work alone with this project :)
Krazy About Kidz
We are an MJC student and MJC alumni, mother/daughter duo working as a team to solve the lack of affordability of child care in our community. As the owner and a teacher of a local childcare center, we recognize the burden placed upon parents by the high cost of a quality childcare center.
Back To Basics
Offering a solution and guidance for foster and non-foster kids ages 11 to 14 years old who feel isolated or have been neglected by their loved ones and the school system has failed them. We offer our innovative approach to inspire these kids who are in after-school programs already like the YMCA, Boys and Girls Club of America, and local community churches by educating them with crucial life skills. We intend to teach them in an interactive and fun environment where they will be inspired to manifest their skills through our Life Skills Escape Room Challenge.
Our team's overall goal is to pursue eudaemonia, or the word in Aristotelian philosophy meaning happiness as a result of an active life governed by meaning. Being named after this word, our team seeks to pursue this state of happiness through a lifestyle that isn't weighed down by the undesirable impacts and distractions that social media can bring. We want to promote a lifestyle that is healthy, balanced, and free from unnecessary negativity. We plan to do so by educating the youth about the side effects social media can have that might be unknown to them, by creating a plan to promote conscious social media usage, and by reminding people there is a whole world outside of their phones, although it sometimes may not seem like it.
Broke not Broken
My classmate Jaela and I are working together to try to come up with a solution to provide more afforable housing to college students.
Back to Basics
Offering a solution and guidance for youth through adulthood who feel isolated or have been neglected by their loved ones, programs that did not teach them basic survival skills, and or society failing them altogether. We as Team Back To Basics are here to fill the gaps.
Climate change for the most part is a significant issue in our community that my team and I will definitely be discussing in a major way. Well, it can essentially create extremely harmful really extreme weather in our community, demonstrating that climate change actually is a significant issue in our community. Furthermore, harmful weather events might specifically become for all intents and purposes more intense and dangerous to our community as a result of climate change, which mostly is extremely dangerous for us for the reasons listed above in an extremely major way. To genuinely specifically start being mindful of climate change and to for all intents and purposes start making our earth a kind of better place really is a solution. Demonstrating that climate change mostly is a significant issue in our community that my team and I will actually be discussing in a particularly big way. Utilizing fairly less energy will specifically be another method of combating climate change.
We are two college students who are majoring in business and nursing and we are striving to have an impact on our community.
My team is just me, focussing on a problem that targets all college students and young adults, and truthfully a problem that kills every day.
Annaliese Hausler-Akpovi, an English and College skills professor at MJC, is passionate in the betterment of students, civic engagement, and Service Learning. Adrean uses his drive to direct our project as the appointed student leader. Muhammad aids our team by using his analytical skills to keep us on track. Kirill uses his determined nature to challenge the direction of our team during developmental decisions. Benjamin uses his persistence and calm approach to moderate our team when in discourse. Kaitlyn uses her ability to effectively engage with people to promote our project to the public. While Adrean, Muhammad, Kirill, and Benjamin are computer science majors, Kaitlyn is majoring in chemistry. With Professor Haulser-Akpovi, we are united under the concept of contextualized learning experiences to promote engagement in MJC students’ pursuit of education. Together, we hope to serve as the stimulus to move the conversation around Service Learning forward at MJC and in our community.
Creating Community For Healthcare Workers
Striving to bring healthcare workers (all staff) together so that they get to know who they are working with on a more personal level instead of just a work environment level.
We are all MJC students, we all met through our womens studies class at MJC and were paired to do this project. We grouped together to discuss what issues women face in the central valley and discovered we are passionate about gender inequality issues, and we hope to make change in our community.
Addressing Modesto Statistics
We are two students from a Women's Global Studies class addressing the high rate of sexual assault in Modesto.
Marina Benyamein, Jazmin Sosa, Caeley Cabello, Jane Addon, Amal Alkarazoon
The Outlet is a program designed to provide minors with an outlet to talk about issues they may face in life, such as stress, anxiety, and other mental health issues that may lead them down dark paths of violence, self-harm, or bottling up feelings one may not know how to heal. This program was designed by Honors students at Stanislaus State in conjunction with students from Modesto Junior College, and informed by both research and personal experience.
Chad Redwing is help me work with other projects including smiles for seniors.
Legacy Alliance Outreach/MJC After-School Project
The team is a group of passionate individuals wanting to interrupt the school-to-prison pipeline and make higher education a reality and clearer vision for promising youth in West Modesto. The team is composed of both Legacy Alliance Outreach (a local non-profit) staff and Modesto Junior College (MJC) staff, students, and faculty. The common thread running between both organizations is D'angelo Sanchez, an MJC student, who also serves as a staff member with Legacy Alliance Outreach, and several current Modesto Junior College (MJC) students who desire to help young people realize their dreams in higher education.
Artists' Collective Movement
A few people looking to organize frayed and fractured communities, with a focus on the arts and making a universal resource for community organizing.
Samantha & Yarely’s Team / Peace Keepers
Two young college students striving to have even a small impact on your community
Our team is focused on expanding awareness of the hard labor and work it takes to produce goods such as coffee. We want to make as many people aware of the consequences a simple choice like where one purchases one’s coffee and who are the people who suffer from that choice. Coffee is a commodity that people have become used to having and sometimes lack the knowledge on the process and time it takes for the final product they see on the shelves of the store. Our team values hard and honest work and above all we want to help those people who do not have a voice to tell their stories and deal with the ramification of low coffee prices.