Chloe Rawlinson was the youngest consultant in Drone Forward’s Youth Consulting Program and she has proven that adding value and contributions to a group has nothing to do with what age you are or grade you’re in, what matters is your willingness to tap into the unlimited potential of your most inherent strengths.
Chloe Rawlinson’s progress during Drone Forward’s Youth Consulting Program has answered many questions for the nonprofit organization concerning the age of students and their ability to understand complex business concepts. To recap, Drone Forward is a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to helping children learn about and engage in the careers of the future by working with drones, robotics, and technology. The Youth Consulting Program is particularly aimed at exposing youth to business oriented occupations such as marketing, finance, and operations by allowing students to solve a real-time business problem a drone/robotics firm is dealing with. The robotics firm for Chloe’s project was Light Line and their core problem was deciding if retrofitting their autonomous package delivery robot into a COVID-19 disinfecting robot for schools would be a profitable venture.
While students in Drone Forward’s Youth Consulting Problem focused on Light Line, the core education team from Drone Forward focused a lot of attention on Chloe. Chloe was a ten-year-old working with teenagers aged thirteen to fourteen. The core education team was interested in ensuring that having a ten-year-old in the program was beneficial to Chloe and her cohort. The concept of grouping five students from different grades is one most classically trained western educators would cringe at and deem fruitless; however, Drone Forward wanted to test working with age range mixtures so that DFI could more efficiently direct financial resources by adopting a more collective based education approach.
Like teams that work together in corporations, with a mixture of baby boomers, millennials, and those Generation-Z peoples just now beginning to emerge into the workforce, Drone Forward learned that diversity in perspectives is essential to producing high level work. What Chloe brought to her team was an unclouded respect for all human life, regardless of costs, and a graceful ability to explain why things like COVID-19 disinfecting robots are important. Chloe’s contributions to her team discussions injected a much needed human approach to the project and she added significant value to the final recommendations the team made to Light Line.
The Youth Consulting Projects ended with all teams presenting fifteen minute, business-style presentations on their research, prototypes, and recommendations for Light Line in front of a panel of judges consisting of C-level executives and entrepreneurial experts. Chloe was nominated to start her team presentation and her core duty was to deeply embed the audience into the problems that COVID-19 presents schools and their ability to safely open up in the fall. There is no better way to capture Chloe’s opening other than quoting it here:
Chloe began, “Hi, I'm Chloe. I'm 10 years old and I am in fifth grade. I will start the group off, we are The Covid Destroyers. I want to introduce the rest of my team: Ester and Joshua are 13, Robert and Joseph are 14. Our team has been working on finding out if developing a COVID-19 disinfection robot is a good business move for Light Line."
"Kids like me are going to be affected by how safe schools are. It is important for schools to open up because over 27 million Americans depend on schools to provide childcare so that they can go to work."
"When schools open up they have to be as safe as possible because even though kids are less affected by COVID, they can easily become asymptomatic spreaders of the virus. If we don’t make sure our schools are safe in the fall they could be the next COVID spreaders in a new wave."
"Beyond infection, schools being closed has seriously hurt many students because they haven't made progress. For example, because of closures American students are an average of 30% behind in reading and 50% behind in math. We have many recommendations for you and we will start with my teammate Ester’s competitive analysis.”
The depth of Chloe’s research and her ability to summarize the most important information concerning opening school’s in the fall amidst COVID-19 is impressive. For Drone Forward, Chloe solidified the nonprofit's dedication to leaving western educational concepts, like grouping by grade, behind in order to find educational modes that are more representative of real life.
Drone Forward Incorporated has been honored to work with such a talented and luminous young woman, and we hope to see Chloe in more of our programs.
Drone Forward is dedicated to making the Youth Consulting Project accessible to all students, so please reach out to us if you know of any children who could benefit from the YCP experience. Drone Forward also welcomes qualified individuals to apply to become mentors to our consultant teams. In connection, the program is always looking for drone/robotics/technology companies that are interested in being the focal point of one of our projects. All interested parties should go to droneforwardinc.com and simply submit the contact information and someone from Drone Forward will get back to you.