Students present the Local Action Project to an alumni panel

Students Present Local Action Project Proposals to Alumni Panel

The 11th grade Class of 2017 engaged in the Local Action Project (LAP) this winter, working during their English courses, Advisory and Enrichment time. The LAP asked students to identify an issue related to health, homelessness or transportation that affects the St. Louis area. From their research, they then engaged in the Design Thinking process in order to create a solution with the goal of finding a solution that was a sustainable social enterprise and/or can be developed into part of their community service. As seniors, the Class of 2017 will be required to complete 40 hours of community service and the LAP was designed to prepare students for their service work.

Students developed presentations to educate audiences about their chosen issue and share their ideas for addressing that issue. On March 9, four student groups were invited to share their ideas with a panel of alumni entrepreneurs and business owners who offered marketing tips and other suggestions for improving their plans.

Alumni panelists were:

  • Jeff Linihan ’93 (recursivelabs™)
  • Bob Koplar ’98 (Koplar Communications)
  • Martha Kaufman Sneider ’89, (logo loops, LLC)
  • Tripp Goodloe ’96 (
  • Dave Singer ’00 (Warehouse of Fixtures)
  • Cabanne Schlafly Howard ’97 (Kaleidoscope Management Group)

Student presenters, and their projects, included:

FHIS: Fighting Homelessness in Schools – adding laundry facilities and services to benefit poor students, piloting the project at McCluer North High School
Jacob Platin, Kevin Xu, presenters; Harry Wellford, Avery Queller, Allie Niemann and Mary Wren Moench, teammates)

TSEC: Telepresent STEM Education for Children – acquiring a VGo robot to allow chronically ill children to participate in classes and attend field trips
Samantha Sansone and Caroline Dong

Future Me – partnering with the Haven of Grace to help women residents of the shelter make and sell jewelry, and conduct a book and art supply drive for regular reading time with the children who live at the shelter
Juliet Alpert, Rebecca Helfant and Kumu Myla

Be Well: Know Your BGL – encourage people to get health screenings for Type 2 Diabetes, in partnership with Mercy Hospital and St. Luke Memorial Baptist Church
Nikki Kasal and Jake Speller

“Our project allows us to work closely with homeless St. Louisans and their children,” said Juliet Alpert. “We hope to add positivity and hope to these people’s lives, and we know they will do the same for us and those who choose to volunteer for Future Me.”

“I very much appreciated the opportunity to receive feedback from the entrepreneurs, who are successful in their own right: I felt as if their feedback allowed me to better comprehend what, exactly, I needed to improve upon if I want to move forward with my LAP project, especially the business aspect,” said Jacob Platin. Expanding upon this, the business aspect, especially the allocation of funds, was something that people often struggle with when creating an organization or start-up of their own, and by meeting with the entrepreneurs, I was able to learn about how business functions in the real world.”