Listening to the firsthand accounts of those who have suffered the rigors of acclimating to a new way of life, it became apparent that many of the needed resources already exist but are often difficult to locate. Also, rather than engaging an entire organization, sometimes all that is needed is a simple helping hand during the day to navigate a situation.
What it does
Tiburon provides a safe medium through which immigrants/refugees/foreign-born individuals can easily, and anonymously, reach out for assistance from a network of volunteers. The individual need not fear or hesitate to reach out for general advice from a volunteer who speaks their language and knows the new environment in which the individual now finds themselves.
Whether it's just to ask someone who speaks your language what a sign means, how to navigate public transit, or live translation assistance during a conversation, Tiburon connects the user with those who can help in a meaningful and immediate way.
Volunteers can be searched for by their language and fields of expertise (Immigration Law, Visa Process, etc.) to ensure the user is connected with someone who can advise them with their most pressing needs.
How we built it
Planning, planning, then some planning
The first evening was all brainstorming, story-mapping, arguing, and ultimately gelling around a unified, theoretical deliverable that all found valuable.
Hacking the day away
Once we had a clear (enough) vision, we set out and started knocking features off our list. In a blur of caffeine and code, we spent all of Saturday coordinating our efforts and arduously crafting this genuinely exciting product.
Challenges we ran into
So much to do, so little time
The needs of the foreign-born community are vast, widely varied, and they're all important. One of the biggest challenges was simply identifying what kind of new technological resource would provide the most meaningful and timely impact.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Keeping the individual's unique challenges in mind
A recurring theme, and one that we believed must be addressed in our solution, is that many foreign-born individuals are actively afraid to reach out for the help that they so desperately need. Keeping this in mind, we managed to engineer a solution that helps these individuals make contact and get help without risk of exposing themselves.
Coming from different teams and backgrounds, and with very different ideas at times, we ended up coming together as an effective team to create something we take pride in.
A far-reaching and effective solution
We're very proud that our solution has the unique ability to effectively support the foreign-born individual in a fantastically wide variety of scenarios without compromising effectiveness.
What we learned
The journey of immigrants/refugees/foreign-born individuals is fundamentally unique and astoundingly challenging at times. There is so much to be done, and so many that could benefit from a well-implemented and widely-disseminated solution.
What's next for Tiburon
Rest, then more code
The team will thoroughly enjoy getting some sleep, and after that, "Who can say?". This has been an amazing experience for all, and has done much to further our knowledge of the foreign-born individual's struggles, coding, and each other. Hopefully others will see what we do in this project and it will really take flight. We have some amazing ideas for the future of this product and are very excited about its potential to help those most in need.