Dominguez High School and Clinton Elementary School students take top honors in addressing massive health problem using S.T.E.A.M. skills

COMPTON, Calif (May 24, 2019) - Serena and Venus Williams’ Yetunde Price Resource Center (YPRC), in partnership with the Compton Unified School District (CUSD) and the Carrot Group, announced the winning teams in the Mission: Impact Challenge - Connected Community. In this Challenge, CUSD Middle and High School students formed teams to dream up innovative, feasible solutions using their Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (S.T.E.A.M.) skills to identify signs of people experiencing emotional trauma and build a community to support and healing.

The winners of the ten-week Innovation Challenge were announced yesterday at CUSD’s 3rd Annual STEAMFest at Dollarhide Community Center in Compton. A distinguished panel of five judges, comprised of experts in trauma and technology, reviewed the presentations from each of the 12 semi-final teams (six from high school and six from middle school). Their scores, in combination with the votes from the event attendees, determined the Grand Prize winner and two Runner-Up teams at both school categories. The teams were scored based on originality of the idea; use and application of S.T.E.A.M. knowledge; feasibility; and potential impact.

“I have been so impressed with all the Compton Unified students and teachers who participated in this Challenge,” commented Serena Williams. “A huge congratulations to the winning teams. The technology solutions they thought of to help people in our community are incredible. Providing resources for people suffering from trauma is an issue that I care deeply about, and I appreciate that Compton students took this Challenge so seriously.”

The six winning teams and their ideas are:


GRAND PRIZE TEAM: Dominguez High School students Andres Favela, Christopher Gilliam, Hilda Huerta, and Alex Perez developed a mobile phone application that uses A.I. to recognize someone experiencing trauma.
RUNNER-UP TEAM: Compton Early College students Ja'niya Gray and Yajaira Soto developed an implant in the arm to help prevent panic/anxiety attacks.
RUNNER-UP TEAM: Dominguez High School students Giselle Arellano, Deliliah Franco, Jasmine Mack, and Justin Rodriguez developed a mobile phone application that activates meditation, chat, or games when someone is experiencing trauma.


GRAND PRIZE TEAM: Clinton Elementary School students Perla Beltran and Demetrius Ramirez developed an interactive, computerized avatar that can offer treatment options for medical trauma.
RUNNER-UP TEAM: Clinton Elementary School students Rodolfo Camarena, Eduardo Gonzalez, Isaac Hernandez, Joshua Muniz, and Joaquin Ochoa developed a portable machine that identifies the types of trauma someone is experiencing and offers solutions.
RUNNER-UP TEAM: Clinton Elementary School students Diana Bojorquez, Ivan Moreno, Alicia Ramirez, Mario Rosas, and Joseph Saldana developed an application that connects someone experiencing physical, sexual or domestic abuse to a health professional.

“I am very proud of our Compton Scholars and staff who have taken on the Challenge. These students exemplify what Compton Unified School District endeavors to foster in every student -- scholarship and human compassion,” said Dr. Darin Brawley, superintendent, CUSD. “Through the YPRC/Carrot Group’s Connected Community Challenge, our students have unleashed their inner creator and innovator to tackle a problem that is difficult for children and adults alike. The creative solutions ideated by these brilliant students are not only impressive, but they can make a tangible, positive impact on the lives of those suffering from trauma.”

In the U.S. alone, 7 out of 10 people have faced some form of trauma. Traumatic experiences such as homelessness, gang violence, and bullying can have a lasting impact on physical, emotional, and mental well-being. Many people who suffer from trauma are unaware of its lingering effects.

“Congratulations to all of the teams. The response to this Challenge has been absolutely incredible. The stories of impact across the students, faculty, administrators, and partners is overwhelming. We were thrilled to collaborate with the Yetunde Price Resource Center and Compton Unified School District to design this breakthrough and important Challenge,” said Alan Zack, president, Carrot Group. “Many of these students deal with some form of trauma on a daily basis and drew from their own experiences to fuel their ideas”

The two Grand Prize teams won a VIP Innovation Trip around Los Angeles, where they will meet leading innovators and experience cutting-edge technology. Each member of the two Grand Prize teams and the four Runner-Up teams will get VIP access to Two Bit Circus micro-amusement park in Los Angeles; an exclusive littleBits STEAM Kit bundle; and Beats headphones. The two Grand Prize teams’ schools will receive $1,000 in science supplies.

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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 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 24,000 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), a college acceptance rate of almost 80%, facilities improvements, and a focus on STEAM throughout all schools. The mission of the CUSD 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