Bold Vision: Donte Jones’ Idea Wins Support at CLE Accelerate
Tri-C student among finalists, wins $2,000 prize for pitch to create peer support app
Donte Jones wants to use technology to help students connect with peer support to guide them past barriers to their education.
A full-time student at Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C®) and a single father, Jones’ idea received support at the Cleveland Leadership Center’s Accelerate Competition. He was one of six finalists in the field of 32 presenters for his idea, Peer Student Support Services, and won a $2,000 prize.
“I was recently inspired by an introduction to the concept of peer support ― the positive results of it and how we can further use it alongside technology to better serve a segment of our population ― through an internship I served with the Goldman Sach’s 10KSB program,” he said.
Peer Student Support Services is Jones’ idea to develop an app that connects students to peer supporters to navigate barriers such as housing and food insecurities, financial literacy, drug dependency and mental health crises.
Peer supporters would identify areas of need and educate clients about opportunities, agencies and resources available to them. In collaboration with the network of already existing resources, Peer Support Student Services seeks to be the compass for students in need of guidance.
Jones also had help from his 10-year-old son Jeremiah, who co-presented with him at the Accelerate Competition, held at the Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland on Feb. 23. Various parties expressed interest in Jones’ idea.
“The connections that I made at the event will only lead to good things,” Jones said.
Accelerate strives to help individuals across Greater Cleveland begin the process of bringing their pitches to life. The competition offers a chance to win seed money to help launch their idea to make the region a better place. Most of the pitches are in the development stage.
Jones is a Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Scholar, where he learned about the Advanced Leadership Institute’s Accelerate Competition. He is also a Tri-C Democracy Fellow, an elected senator-at-large at Eastern Campus and president of the Eastern Campus Activities Board.
He also attends Case Western Reserve University through the Cleveland Humanities Collaborative, a dual enrollment program, and plans to transfer to CWRU full time to earn a bachelor’s degree.
March 03, 2023
By Anthony Moujaes, 216-987-3068 or firstname.lastname@example.org