JCPS students address mental health, civic power, and immigration at Aspen Challenge

Students share innovative solutions to big issues

On June 27, the three high school teams from Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) that earned spots at the Aspen Ideas Festival as part of the Aspen Challenge earlier this year presented their innovative solutions to issues that have impacted their communities. Central High School Magnet Career Academy students shared information about fostering civic power and engagement among their peers, Jeffersontown High School spoke about battling the stigmas around mental health and using a podcast to create a community that combats loneliness, and duPont Manual High School students highlighted how they creatively linked the immigration and refugee population of Louisville with ride-share opportunities to improve their access to resources in their community. 

The Aspen Challenge: Louisville launched in February 2019 with teams from 17 JCPS high schools who attended a kick-off event where a variety of experts in their fields challenged high school students to create solutions to some of the community’s most pressing problems. Over the next eight weeks, the teams worked collaboratively to design and implement solutions on topics that included support programs for immigrants, restoring air quality in Louisville, access to healthcare, and more. Teams presented their innovative projects on stage in front of a panel of judges on April 17, and the three winning teams were selected to share their creative solutions at the festival.

Currently in its seventh year, the Aspen Challenge has previously partnered with the Los Angeles Unified Schools District, Denver Public Schools, District of Columbia Public Schools, Chicago Public Schools, and the School District of Philadelphia. This year, the Aspen Challenge partnered with JCPS and the Dallas Independent School District.

Background: Louisville students and communities triumph during Aspen Challenge