Samu - A Problem Worth Solving

Finding the one problem that I wanted to tackle was arguably the most difficult part of the entire project. It wasn’t the process of defining the problems themselves that I found exhausting, but it was the course of uncovering the “golden” problem, a problem that clicked with me personally, that seemed impossible.

As humans, what often drives us to solve problems is an innate sense of need or purpose; a feeling that is often steered by very personal motives. When I was on the hunt for “the problem”, a large part of what made me want to solve something was the very reason why I wanted to solve it in the first place. And for a lot of what I had wrote down, I couldn’t solidify that sense of motivation.

And it wasn't because I didn’t care about large global issues, but I knew that if I approached a problem that truly meant something to me, my need to solve that problem would be that much more significant. And that’s where my classmate and friend Sam comes in.

Sam suffers from a disease known as SMA (Spinal Muscular Atrophy), a serious disability in which a loss of motor neurons severely restricts his muscle strength and dexterity. Such a physical disability greatly restricts Sam, especially as a teen within the digital age where our entire lives revolve around our ability to type and tap. And as a teen who types and taps away by the hour, I could only imagine how difficult it might be for him as a fellow teen and student. I knew there had to be some way for those like Sam to interact with technology, and for some odd reason, I felt as though it was my responsibility to find that new way.

Behind all great solutions often lies a problem worth solving. For me, Sam and his disability became my source of inspiration, the very reason why I needed to solve the problem.

- Samu