Student Recipients of IMSA Innovation Grant

IMSA: Hogwarts for Hackers | Source: Wired

In early January of 2023, IMSA presented students an opportunity to make their marks in the IMSA community through a new student innovation grant. The “IMSA Innovation Grant ” gives students the funds to pursue projects that improve the IMSA community. The grant expenses were up to two thousand dollars and students were allowed to use their grants between “February 13 and May 22, 2023.” 

This time around, though, the Innovation Grants were had specified criteria, namely depending upon a students’ grade and their intention with the project.

For the Class of 2024/2025:

This grant was permitted for those who wanted to implement a project that promotes appreciation or a deeper connection for an identity group. 

For the Class of 2023:

This grant was permitted for the seniors that wanted to make a project that would benefit future generations at IMSA. 


The following were the recipients of this grant and their projects:

Acronym Mobile App:

The Acronym’s 2022-23 Editors-in-Chief, Dhruv Patel (‘23) and Kelly Cruz (‘23) implemented a new initiative for the Acronym’s publicity by proposing the creation of a mobile app. The mobile app was developed by Ethan Dawes (‘23) and was recently published in early May. Through the app, students will be able to easily access articles through notifications on their phone. The app is available on Google Play and the App Store.

Student Mural:

Located near the stairways by the Math Study Area, a new mural was created by students for students. This mural was proposed by IMSA seniors, Lily Song, Dorrie Peters, and Michelle Li.

A picture of the newly-installed mural right outside the Academic Pit | Source: Megan Sia

Their intention with this mural was to create a sense of community and belonging within IMSA. Another mural was placed right outside Door 13 near the concrete picnic tables. 

Michelle Li (‘23) explained that this had always been an idea between her friends since last year as they noticed there were “barely any murals on campus.”








Continued IMSA Comprehensive Sexual Health Education Proposal:

Created in collaboration with the Sex Ed Initiative and ACLU @ IMSA, this proposal was used to spread quality sexual health education in Illinois. “The Talk” Zine was created to provide Illinois students with comprehensive sexual health education. This zine was previously distributed to IMSA students (in early September of 2022), and they hope to further implement it in schools.

Robotics Boot Camp:

This project was proposed by Jai Sutaria (‘23) in hopes to create a robotics boot camp/workshop targeted towards students who have not had opportunities in the past to be involved with robotics. This camp would aim to affirm marginalized identities that have not been encouraged or have had the resources to learn about robotics.

Interactive Student Festivals:

To promote an appreciation for cultures, Devarsh Shah (‘25) proposed having two interactive student festivals, each featuring two diverse cultures. This initiative would allow students the opportunity to have a unique and fun experience at IMSA. Some ideas for the festivals were to introduce cultural games and food for participants. Shah and his team, ultimately, however condensed the two festivals into one Culture Fiesta that was held in early May.

Student Cultural Showcase:

This proposal by Neev Patel (‘25) would give students the opportunity to share their individuality and cultures through art. This initiative would be featured on the IMSA website through student submissions from an online forum. The “Student Cultural Showcase” would allow IMSA another format to celebrate cultural diversity.

ITMC Rejuvenation Project:

This project was proposed by the seniors on the ISP (IMSA Student Productions) Cabinet 2022-23. Their initiative seeks to rejuvenate the Instructional Technology and Media Center (ITMC), a place for students to explore media creation through a creative lens. This project would allow the seniors to leave their legacy by improving the resources in ITMC. Due to miscommunications between the team and Facilities, the money was diverted into purchasing new and improved equipment, which would allow ISP to better capture moments across campus. 

Pride Rock:

This proposal was proposed by Jose Lazcano (‘25), Venus Obazuaye (‘23), and Shanya Yang (‘25). The project would implement a place targeted to help students at IMSA feel comfortable with their sexual orientation and gender identity. The room would be a safe space here on campus, open to both allies and community members. 


The Med4Minorities board 2022-23 received this grant in hopes of bridging the gap in healthcare access and those in medical professions by exposing Black/Latino students to the field of medicine/healthcare. 

About the Author

Megan Sia
Megan Sia is a senior at IMSA from 1502. She is a staff writer for The Acronym. Usually, she can be found either hanging out with friends, watching Netflix, writing, sleeping, or doing homework.

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