December 6, 2019
As a volunteer at Health Care for the Homeless, Serena Wang, a Johns Hopkins junior majoring in public health studies, met people who wanted to improve their lives by getting jobs but didn't know how to go about it.
"I realized that there were large barriers for many of the clients to not only access the technology required to apply for jobs, but also to have the transportation and even simply the knowledge of how to write a resume and cover letter," Wang wrote in a pitch she developed with two co-leaders and submitted to Idea Lab, the Johns Hopkins crowdsourcing platform.
That pitch included providing career workshops, technology and training, interview attire, and transportation to individuals in partnership with Health Care for the Homeless, and creating an online hub for information about services available throughout Baltimore City. Now the team will receive $20,000 to put their plan into action after they received 884 online votes from the JHU community, the most for any idea in the Idea Lab's Ten by Twenty challenge category.
This year—Idea Lab's fifth—11 projects have been selected by popular vote to receive funding from a total of 46 submitted ideas. The proposals solicited this year fell under three challenges: to support the university's Ten by Twenty goals, enhance diversity and inclusion efforts, or advance sustainability efforts. More than 3,900 students, faculty, and staff from every school and division in the Johns Hopkins community participated, casting about 8,500 total votes.
"When we launched the Ten by Twenty, we knew the passion and creativity of our students, faculty, and staff would be vital to reaching our goals," JHU President Ronald J. Daniels said. "Over five years of calling for impactful ideas through the Idea Lab, the outpouring of thoughtful proposals—and the care they demonstrate for our institution, our communities, and our neighbors—has been truly remarkable."