Meet Aaron and Gwyn of CantonSmart

At the end of the year, we reflect on how we create impact and empower middle schoolers. Here’s another story of the amazing students we work with.

You can also donate here to help us finish the year strong!  

When Aaron and Gwyn explored their community at Camp What If: Canton, they loved what they saw. They toured around Canton, learning about the unique attractions, history, and businesses that make the Hall of Fame City tick.

“What if,” they thought, “Our city had a smart guide to all the great things about Canton? And what if it showed you where to go?”

The result? CantonSmart, an app that curates the city for you. CantonSmart navigates users through what the city has to offer with walkthroughs of the city’s food scene and “inverted intersections.” These historic images of downtown, using geolocation in the app, let you compare city blocks from today with decades past.

Aaron and Gwyn worked alongside TomTod staff and local mentors, including developers Chris Cutter and Dan Capri with ETHOS, and Mark Holland with the McKinley Presidential Library and Museum, to put their idea into motion. Now the public has a cross-platform app that serves up local history, knowledge, and food right from their phones, all thanks to middle schoolers that were empowered by TomTod Ideas. And as far as the CantonSmart team is concerned, this is just the beginning, with updated features, information and themes to come.

To promote their app to tourists visiting Canton, Aaron and Gwyn worked with their mentors to secure funding, including a prize package from Visit Canton. By visiting contestants (living outside of Stark County) can earn entries into a sweepstakes to win a 3 day Gold Package to the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Enshrinement Festival Powered by Johnson Controls or, for those living in Stark County, a prize package of gift certificates to local restaurants.

TomTod Ideas loves seeing middle schoolers move from idea to action and we connect middle schoolers with mentors and tools to do just that – but we can’t do it alone.

Would you join us in aiding middle schoolers like Gwyn and Aaron to engage their communities and take action? By giving today, you’ll be supporting programming like Camp What If and What If You Could that empowers middle schoolers to put their ideas in motion.

Aaron and Gwyn aren’t the only middle schooler making a difference. You can hear the inspiring stories of students like RowynNyrii, and Manny (and more!) on our Stories page.

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