©Erica C. Thompson
over the age of 65 living independently, which includes 5.6 million adults over 85. Hally and Jacob feel that their Slip Saver will not only have a direct impact on individuals and their families, but it will also reduce insurance costs since it has the ability to prevent and identify falls. Alana Pappas and Julia Hirs: CRLA Bishop Shanahan High School students Alanna Pappas (18) and Julia Hirs (18) are the youngest entrepreneurs we met. These rising young stars are quickly gaining attention with the development of their Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Lifesaving Assistant (CRLA), a portable and waterproof mat placed over the chest of cardiac arrest victims that allows CPR administrators to give more effective CPR. CRLA monitors the force of chest compressions, and indicates if the compressions are too hard or not hard enough. CRLA indicates the rate at which compressions should be administered via beeps, thus assisting in maintaining the correct pace. For the past year, along with their teammates Greta Barnes, Michael Alec Gomba, David Carangan, Carlo Ursal, Brian Whiteford and Brendan Pappas, Alana and Julia
were able to develop, design, and create CRLA for the PA Governor’s STEM Competition. They were encouraged throughout the process by many people in their community to take CRLA to the market. “Placing first in the competition fueled our desire to do more,” Alana said. Alana and Julia are both CPR certified and have taken classes in biology, health, chemistry, circuitry, and programming. Alana and Julia developed CRLA when they discovered that a significant amount of both trained and untrained CPR administrators do not administer CPR correctly, and that this inadequacy results in approximately 315,000 deaths in the United States annually. At first, CRLA was Alana and Julia’s project for the Pennsylvania Governor’s STEM Competition, but their strong conviction that the product could save lives led them to developing CRLA into a business model. Working alongside the West Chester-based global engineering firm CTDI, Alana and Julia are now in the process of acquiring a patent for CLRA. Their hope is to bring it to the broader market with plans to sell through medical supply retailers. The device is intended to be marketed towards adults between the ages of 18-45
Alana Pappas and Julia Hirs CRLA project was named the Grand Champion of the fifth annual Governor’s STEM competition.
who would be able and willing to perform CPR on those in need. Specifically, those who often interact with and are responsible for instructing CPR for large groups of people. Fewer than one in five adults are CPR-certified. Thus, CRLA would be a crucial addition to the first aid instruction supplies of this demographic. “We created CRLA as a way to improve the lives of others through the application of science, technology, engineering and math,” Alana stated. “Our desire to make such an impact is what motivates us to become entrepreneurs.” This community has been gifted with the go-getting attitudes of our young people, and the entrepreneurial spirit in West Chester is alive and thriving. As intrepid and dynamic influencers, they are actively seeking out change, rather than waiting to adapt to change, through the application of STEM, critical thinking, innovation and continuous improvement. These ambitious young adults are undoubtedly unafraid to take risks, risks that will ultimately improve life for the rest of us.
JULY 2019 THEWCPRESS.COM
Voice of the Borough