Program Designed to Engage Middle and High School Students in Utilizing S.T.E.A.M. Skills to Identify Signs of Trauma and Foster Healing

COMPTON, Calif (February 12, 2019) - Serena and Venus Williams’ Yetunde Price Resource Center (YPRC), in partnership with Compton Unified School District (CUSD) and the Carrot Group, today announced the Mission: Impact Challenge - Connected Community, a competition for CUSD students within grades 6-12. Their mission: Dream up new solutions using their science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (S.T.E.A.M.) knowledge to identify people who are showing signs of trauma and build a connected community to support them. The 10-week program will culminate with the finals at the CUSD’s STEAMFest on Thursday, May 23, 2019, where the Grand Prize-winning teams will be announced.”

This is an important program considering 7 out of 10 people have faced some form of trauma in the U.S. alone. Traumatic experiences such as homelessness, gang violence, and cyberbullying can have a devastating impact on physical, emotional, and mental well-being. Many people who face trauma are unaware of its lingering effects.

As part of the challenge, student teams of up to five members will compete against student teams from other CUSD schools. YPRC will provide all participating teams with mentors steeped with trauma or technology expertise. Students will also attend a Design Thinking Workshop at the University of Southern California in March 2019 to learn how Design Thinking can help them develop their Challenge idea. Students will also hear from experts in the field on why addressing trauma is so important.

“We are so excited that students from Compton Unified School District have the chance to work on such a meaningful project,” said Serena Williams. “The winning teams of this challenge will further the work of The Yetunde Price Resource Center to provide resources and programming to youths who need it most. It will be so amazing to watch these young students make change happen.”

A distinguished panel of judges will select six semi-finalist student teams where they will be invited to present their video submission during STEAMFest at the Dollarhide Community Center in Compton. In addition to the judges’ score, attendees also will be able to vote for their favorite solution. The Grand Prize and two Runner-Up teams from each school level will be determined through a combination of scores from an expert panel and the crowd vote. The panel consists of judges who specialize in working with people impacted by trauma or in the technology field.

“We think of our schools as more than institutions of learning; they are communities where students can find solace, support and healing so that they can be prepared to engage in an enriching educational experience,” said Dr. Darin Brawley, Superintendent, Compton Unified School District. “I wholeheartedly believe that the YPRC/Carrot Group’s Connected Community program will help foster creativity among our bright students in ways that take the limits off what is possible and place them solidly in the roles of innovators and creators.”

All semi-finalist teams will be invited to attend an annual event hosted by Venus and Serena which benefits YPRC. The Grand Prize-winning middle and high school teams will receive a VIP Innovation Trip around Los Angeles where they will meet leading innovators and experience cutting-edge innovations. Other prizes include VIP access to Two Bit Circus micro-amusement park, an exclusive littleBits STEAM kit bundle, and an Amazon Echo. The two Grand Prize teams’ schools will receive $1,000 in science supplies.

Learn more about the Mission: Impact Challenge - Connected Community at

About The Yetunde Price Resource Center

A Williams Sisters Fund Project, the Yetunde Price Resource Center (YPRC) collaborates with partner organizations to offer trauma-informed programs that promote individual and community-wide healing and resiliency. The Yetunde Price Resource Center was created to honor its namesake. Yetunde was the oldest of five sisters, the youngest being Venus and Serena Williams. When Yetunde was tragically killed in an act of senseless violence, she left behind three children, siblings, parents and a community that mourned her. As a result, the Price/Williams family wanted to ensure that anyone who has been impacted by violence could access resources in order to flourish. YPRC works to ensure that individuals who have experienced direct or indirect acts of senseless violence have complete access to existing resources and that where there is a dearth in services, new programming is created. Learn more at

About Compton Unified School District

Compton Unified School District is located in in the south-central region of Los Angeles County, California. CUSD encompasses the city of Compton and portions of the cities of Carson and Los Angeles. The district currently serves nearly 26,000 students at 36 sites and has emerged from a dramatic turnaround, marked by increases in student achievement rates, a graduation rate nearing 90% (according to the California Dashboard), facilities improvements, and a focus on STEAM throughout all schools. The mission of the Compton Unified School District is to empower leaders to lead, teachers to teach and students to learn by fostering an environment that encourages leaders and teachers to be visionary, innovative and accountable for the achievement of all students. For more information, visit

About Carrot Group

Carrot Group is the leading organization engaging, cultivating, and celebrating young innovators to solve real-world problems using science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM). The highly creative and fully customizable programs drive impact and spark a passion for discovery. Carrot Group designs various programs for preschool children to college students and through the belief that the power of competition inspires learning, creativity, and innovation. The critically acclaimed programs reward dynamic thinking, perseverance, cooperation, imagination, and ingenuity. Learn more at