HW Venture challenges students

Jina Jeon

HW Venture will hold a two-week-long Community Challenge to address homelessness in Los Angeles (LA) County starting Jan. 18 as part of the HW Venture Events series. Participants in the challenge will brainstorm initiatives to support homeless people across LA. They will then create a pitch presentation for their idea, and the winner of the Community Challenge will receive a grant of $500 to fund their project. 

In the email announcing the challenge, HW Venture said they encourage students to take on more feasible, small-scale projects. In addition, HW Venture alumni will be available to aid the challenge participants and provide guidance and resources.

HW Venture member Logan Azizzadeh ’24 said he felt compelled to organize the event after observing increased homelessness throughout the LA community. 

“I’ve always been interested in affordable housing,” Azizzadeh said. “There are such [few] resources that [homeless people] have. Over time, I saw the situation get worse and felt more inclined to help. I know other people at school feel the same way, so I thought I would get the community to work together.”

HW Venture member Wilson Federman ’24 said the challenge is an effective way to bring awareness to homelessness. He said he hopes to see strong student participation and enthusiasm in the coming weeks.

“I’m excited to see the incredible ideas the members of the challenge come up with,” Federman said. “Last year, we received amazing ideas for our COVID-19 adaptation of the Community Challenge, so I can only hope that we can reciprocate the results from last year.”

Federman said participants will have the independence to develop their own unique ideas, as they will gain problem-solving skills to apply later in life. 

“The idea of seeking out a problem and devising a solution is an extremely beneficial tool to have,” Federman said. “Benefiting the community in a creative, unique way of your own is empowering and enticing.”

HW Venture Advisor Rob Levin said he hopes the challenge will inspire students to discover issues they are passionate about.

“Any time students are encouraged to turn [their] concern into action and become the drivers of their lives, it’s a win,” Levin said.