Inspiration

We are trying to create an experience for individuals who recently immigrated to the St. Louis area that pairs them with locals who can help them navigate the everyday struggles of a new city.

Problem

A community is made of connections between individuals. These 1:1 relationships are the backbone of a network that can provide solutions to both cultural and professional issues. However these relationships must be initiated between two strangers, strangers who have either have professional or cultural commonalties, but just don't know it yet.

What it does

We are the spark in the relationship between a foreign born individual and a social and professional resources (Gateway Guide) to help guide them. It will allow an advisee to direct a question to their choice of Gateway Guides. Our Guides will be instructed to not just answer the question, but seek to build a relationship with the foreign born individual.

Once the relationship has been initiated we will send out automated reminders to both individuals ensuring that interaction occurred, was a positive experience, and will prompt both parties to continue to stay in contact.

How we built it

We used Vue.js to build a progressive web application (PWA) optimized for mobile devices. The Material design system helped us move quickly to build an attractive front end. Finally we are using express and node.js for the backend.

What's next for City Aid

We would like to continue to build on our submission and create a true Minimum Viable Product. Our user experience for the Gateway Guide needs to be fleshed out, including registration and training material.

To encourage participation in our Gateway Guides program we would like to incorporate a scoring system that allows guides to earn points for each positive interaction. Corporations, civic groups, or non-profit organizations could then hold competitions, ideally with a leaderboard tracking everyone's progress.

We would also like to improve upon our matching system, using past interactions and feedback to iterate on heuristics and methods to achieve both immediate utility, but also lasting relationships.

We also see this idea as applicable to many other cities, taking the learnings from Saint Louis and using those to create a more diverse and culturally rich nation.

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