Students make an impact through The $100 Solution™

Written by: Wendy Pons

The year is 2043 and you find yourself ill in the emergency room. Your doctor is compassionate and asks many questions to make sure she has all of the information needed to care for you. You notice how thorough and knowledgeable the doctor is which makes you wonder how she chose medicine…so you ask her. The doctor laughs to herself and then tells you about a group of Warren Central High School students who taught her kindergarten class a song about science and showed them fun experiments back in the spring of 2013. The smiling doctor explains how she still remembers the song and starts to hum it. This reminds you of another story you were told by a friend of yours while having dinner with him and his family. The family cooked a traditional meal from the Congo and it had many fresh vegetables that were native to his mother’s homeland. When you asked where they got the vegetables they showed you their garden and told you the story of Western Kentucky University students who helped them build and grow it with seeds their mother had brought to the United States. Both of these events had a common link – the high school and college students were all part of a program called The $100 Solution™.

In 30 years those outcomes are completely possible from two of the 27 The $100 Solution™ projects that are being completed by local students this semester. Matter Matters is a project run by five Warren Central High School students in partnership with Warren Elementary School. Matter Matters created a sustainable solution to fill the community need of getting students interested in science at an early age. They wrote a song that the teachers can teach year after year. Helping Grow Memories project is a partnership between five WKU Cultural Diversity students, Fern Runners Garden Center of Bowling Green, and a refugee family from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The group determined the family’s need of cooking with sustainable fresh produce and combined it with the family’s desire to have food native to their culture. Each project was completed with $100 or less. What could you do with $100? These projects and many others have shown how you can make something seemingly small and turn into a world of change.

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