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Saint Mary's seniors chosen for innovative District C program
Katherine Jackson

Through the HQ Raleigh partnership, Saint Mary's School was introduced to HQ member company District C. District C's mission is to pair the next generation of leaders into "C Squads" to work together to solve real world challenges.


Through the HQ Raleigh partnership, Saint Mary's School was introduced to HQ member company District C. District C's mission is to pair the next generation of leaders into "C Squads" to work together to solve real world challenges.

Local area schools are encouraged to nominate up to five juniors and seniors to attend District C's selection day. The day is filled with collaborative work, problem solving, data analysis and an individual interview. Saint Mary's was proud to nominate three seniors: Lottie Crouse '18, Tra My Ha '18, and Izzy Marroquin '18.

After completing the rigorous, all-day, selection process alongside students from local area high schools, all three Saint Mary's students were selected to participate in the program's fall cycle.

Sorted into C Squads of four students representing different high schools, participants are assigned community mentors and are paired with local businesses to solve a real-world organizational challenge. Fleet Feet and Fit for 90 served as the business-partners for the fall cycle and provided the following challenges:

  • Fit for 90: Fit for 90 is developing an app called the Player Performance & Recovery App for youth athletes. The challenge is to determine how Fit for 90 can leverage social engagement features to motivate and inspire users to enter self-reports on a daily basis.
  • Fleet Feet: Much of Fleet Feet's business is generated through medical referrals (doctors referring patients to Fleet Feet for shoe fittings and other specialty items). The challenge is to determine how Fleet Feet can optimize its medial referral process so the business can better identify and act on opportunities for growth.
  • C Squads use a modified design-thinking process to guide their work. The 40-hour experience, much of which is completed through the Google Hangouts platform, spans one month and is comprised of five design stages: understand, define, ideate, focus, and prototype. The District C experience culminates in a pitch night where two C Squads present to each of the partnering businesses.

    District C's engaging process provides our students opportunities to collaborate with peers and the local community in novel ways, applying their knowledge in new contexts while achieving personal growth.



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