Interview: Calor App- Preventing Heat Stroke in Farm Workers

We asked the project creator of The Calor App a few questions about the inspiration behind the project, the challenges and their insights in running a crowdfunding campaign. Here is what they had to say,

  1. Where did you get the original inspiration for your project?

I grew up in a small town called Shafter within the Central Valley of California. This undoubtedly impacted my early development, as I witnessed farmworkers loading into rusty pickup trucks, bending over strawberry shrubs, and retreating under small tends. My own great-grandmother, Estella Florez, died because of these conditions of work in the fields. Because of this, I know that farmworkers are some of the most dedicated, loyal, and hardworking workers the nation has to offer. And I believe the motivation behind my advocacy is inspired by the empathy resulting from my upbringing. This is why, through a partnership between the Latina Legacy Foundation and the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, I created and designed an application that protects the rights and safety of farmworkers.

2.What was the hardest aspect of starting a project?

The hardest part of my project was convincing others to support and endorse it. About a year ago, I started explaining the concept of the application to others. The responses were questions regarding the feasibility and essentiality of this project. As a result, I began to feel very doubtful about the achievability and success of the project. However, the amount of support the project is now receiving is overwhelming. To say that I am grateful is an understatement.

3.Why did you decide to crowdfund?

I decided to crowdfund not only to raise money for the application, but also to raise awareness of the plight of farmworkers through an online platform. Because Not many people outside of Delano, Wasco, and Shafter know about the problems that remain unsolved in these types of rural, agricultural communities. So I believe, as members of these communities, it is our responsibility to make more people aware and of the plight of farmworkers, because only we have the experience to vividly illustrate the situation — the sweltering heat, the calloused fingers, the sore backs, and the blistered feet — and personalize statistics regarding heatstroke. This project has provided me with great success in doing so as a young individual from this area.

4.What does ultimate success look like for you and your project?

Our success is measured by the effectiveness of the application. If we are successful as we hope to be, I genuinely believe that the rate of heat-related illness and fatality will drastically decrease. In this ideal situation, I see small and large-scale farms in states like California, Arizona, Texas utilizing the application with compatible technology while farmworkers work in the fields.

5.How are you keeping the momentum for your project going?

In order to keep the momentum going, we have posted the link to the fundraising page on emails, posts, and press releases. We have also participated in several interviews with local outlets and national networks like Univision and Telemundo. This has been tremendously instrumental in helping us reach our goal of 60,000 dollars, as we are only 10,000 dollars away. This has, also, encouraged Latinx celebrities to donate, such as Eva Longoria and Edward James Olmos, which has been spectacularly stunning.

6. Why did you choose StartSomeGood as your partner?

Though my project can be categorized as an education or health application, I believe it is a social justice application at its core. I chose StartSomeGood because it is known as a platform that sponsors and supports social justice projects like mine.

7. What kind of support do you think that changemakers in your community need?

The young people in my community have boundless potential to make an impact. However, most who live in communities like Shafter and Wasco have limited socio-economic opportunity, and consequently have little access to resources. Access to platforms to StartSomeGood would make all the difference, as young individuals within these types of communities have tremendous perspectives and capacities for compassion and empathy.

8. What would be your one piece of advice for people who want to make a positive impact?

For people who want to make a positive impact, I would suggest maintaining and open-mind and unbiased perspective. Personally, I have never been involved in computer science and engineering. However, had I not been open-minded, I never would have reached out to the USC Viterbi School of Engineering. Since, I’ve learned how to merge the liberal arts and research fields, the product of which being the application. However, I firmly believe that a comprehension of real-world problems is essential in writing code and designing applications.

9. What are you enjoying the most about StartSomeGood?

I am enjoying that this platform sponsors intimate and personal relationships between projects and donors. I genuinely believe that, through StartSomeGood, supporters feel more invested in the progress of the project and the creators behind it due to the fact that advertisement depends upon tailored emails, social media posts, and local interviews. I think that, though StartSomeGood isn’t as well-known as GoFundMe, it ultimately works to our advantage.

You can help support this project today! Click here to donate and become a #changemaker.

Do you have an idea to create a better future for your community? YOU can start some good today! Click here: #crowdfund #socent