Q&A with Amaya Fuentes and Guilianna Schamy, ThinkCERCA Social Impact Challenge Winners


Amaya Fuentes and Giulianna Schamy are Grade 4 Social Impact Challenges winners from the Hollywood Academy of Arts and Sciences in Hollywood, Florida. Here, we chat with Amaya and Giulianna about the challenge and their winning project.

What were your thoughts about the Social Entrepreneurship Challenge when you first heard about it?

Amaya: My thoughts about the Social Entrepreneurship Challenge when I first heard about it were amazed thoughts. I thought that this was a great opportunity for me. I couldn’t wait to get started.

Giulianna: When I first heard about the Social Entrepreneurship Challenge I thought that if I put in my best effort I could win this challenge.

How did you decide on what problem to solve? Do you have any personal connection to it? Have you been learning about it in class? Or some other way?

Amaya: We decided on our problem when we realized that this was a big problem that nobody really deals with. It was also a problem that we had been thinking about for a while and knew impacted many people.

Giulianna: We decided on trying to solve violent video games because we knew it has been a problem for a long time and many upsetting things have occurred because of this problem. I know about this topic because my mom has given me a lot of information on it.

How did you come up with your solution? Did you brainstorm a lot of ideas, or did one idea come to you suddenly?

Amaya: We came up with our idea while brainstorming. Giulianna and I both just came up with it! It was like a switch went off in our heads! We knew the right answer.

Giulianna: Well my partner Amaya and I were brainstorming a lot of ideas when all of a sudden our solution just hit us.

What were some of the biggest challenges you found as you worked on your idea ? How did you overcome them?

Amaya: Our biggest challenge was probably finishing in time. We had so much going on that we had to hurry! We only had about 6 days! We also had to figure out how a Prezi worked.

Giulianna: Our biggest challenge during our project was finishing it in a week.

What was the best or most rewarding part about this project?

Amaya: I personally think that the most rewarding part about this project is knowing that I helped raise awareness for this topic. This is very important for me because I have witnessed this happen.

Giulianna: The most rewarding part about this project is knowing that we were one of the six winners in a nationwide challenge.

What are your plans for the future? Will you continue to work on this project or on other Social Entrepreneurship Challenges?

Amaya: My plans for the future include the performing arts, but I will continue to raise awareness about the prevention of violent video games!

Giulianna: My plans for the future have to do with the arts but I will still keep working on putting an end to violent video games.

Elizabeth Riley Boyer

Elizabeth Riley Boyer

Elizabeth Riley Boyer is an experienced journalist, digital content strategist, and operations manager. Prior to joining ThinkCERCA, she was part of the founding team at Impact Engine, Chicago’s first social impact investment fund and accelerator. As Impact Engine’s Director of Operations & Communications, Elizabeth oversaw the company’s overall processes, day-to-day planning and finances, curriculum development, marketing strategy, and community outreach.

Elizabeth also spent three years at Chicago magazine, most recently as its Digital Engagement Editor, where she managed the organization’s social media and reader engagement initiatives. Elizabeth also works as a freelance content strategist, writer, and communications consultant. Her recent writings on impact entrepreneurship have been featured by the Huffington Post and Crain’s Chicago Business.

In 2007, Elizabeth helped open a private school for underprivileged children while volunteering for a nonprofit organization in the Dominican Republic. This experience inspired her to quit a paper-pushing job at an insurance brokerage firm to pursue a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University. Elizabeth also holds a bachelor’s degree in American studies from the University of Texas at Austin.