Students create nonprofit to foster healthy lifestyles

first_imgTwo USC students have founded a nonprofit organization designed to help those in the USC community monitor their wellness and build healthy habits. Ignite, created by seniors Catalina and Trevor Gutiérrez, is a technology platform in which USC students  can track their fitness, share their fitness goals and achievements with friends and learn more about maintaining a healthy lifestyle. It includes a mobile application, an online blog, a social media presence and an online merchandise store. The core Ignite team consists of 21 members, including 10 students, the Gutierrez siblings’ father and 10 faculty advisors. The app is projected to consist of a social media platform, a metrics system accessible with tracking sensors such as Fitbit, Apple Watch and a cloud-based goal-tracking system, among other features. “Our goal is to connect USC students through Ignite to promote healthier lifestyles all around,” Catalina Gutiérrez said. “Our empirical research shows that social media can boost behavior change, and we want to use that to foster a more active student body.”Ignite is a venture formed off the backbone of the Gutiérrez siblings’ previous project, the Go Green Foundation.“After working on global preservation and sustainability with the Go Green Foundation, we decided to pivot our focus on more health-related issues,” Catalina Gutierrez said. “What we found was that only 6 percent of all adults act upon their physicians’ recommendations to maintain their health, and that is a huge crisis. That is why we decided to create Ignite, to use behavior-change science to encourage more adults to take daily action towards improving their health.” Ana-Catalina Triana, the associate program director at John Muir Health and one of the project’s advisers, said part of Ignite’s appeal is the fact that its design and content is catered specifically to millennials.“As a family physician and behaviorist, I am thrilled to participate in such groundbreaking work that has the potential to make a large-scale positive impact in the quality of life for young adults worldwide,” Triana said. Ignite’s mobile app is still in its initial phase, but will potentially be rolling out either late this year or early 2017. “We really want to make sure the app is effective and accessible before releasing it,” Trevor Gutierrez said. “But we do plan to do an early release for USC students to test out before we officially hit the market.” As for the Ignite blog, media campaign and merchandise store, the Gutierrez siblings plan to initiate these project aspects in the upcoming semester. “We plan to hold a couple of fairs in the upcoming months for students to come and test out our product,” Trevor Gutierrez said. Currently, the Gutierrez siblings are still in the midst of conducting research and will soon release a survey catered to USC students in hopes to gain a better perspective.“We want to get the USC student angle on Ignite, because really, Ignite was made for the USC student,” Catalina Gutierrez said. “That being said, we do eventually hope to make Ignite available to all young adults alike; but at the end of the day, it comes back to helping this school out and making USC proud.”last_img

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