How can we harness technology to improve teens’ mindsets within high-achieving schools?

This Tedx Talk is about finding the positives in a situation that causes stress. This is what I am trying to integrate into teens’ lives with my project.

This is my plan for the color scheme, along with some ideas of what the app might look like.

My Response

Now that you know why teens are facing lots of stress and anxiety in schools, it’s time to take action. Above is a link to a prototype for an app that I believe would help students’ everyday lives. I call it “List Three.” It is a simple app; every day, the user would log on to the app and get a simple prompt (for example, “list three beautiful things you saw today”), then be asked to make a list of the three things the prompt asked for. They would be able to use a calendar function to go back and see what they wrote on other days if they wanted to. I am still working on trying to get the app actually made, but I am not super tech savvy.

I decided this app would be best for this group for a few reasons. First, I thought an app would be very accessible to teens since they use their phones often anyway (I like to think of it as a small break from social media). I also wanted my app to be non intimidating to the user in hopes that teens might actually use it everyday. My research has taught me that practicing gratitude in small doses every day is more effective than one grand gratitude practice (like a documentary or seminar). This is because people can actually rewire their neural pathways to incorporate gratitude into their daily lives. I wanted my app to be a jumping off point for the user to incorporate gratitude practices by themselves.


There are many things you can do to help. If you are a teenager, I would urge you to share this information with other teens struggling with stress or anxiety. If you are an adult, try to integrate gratitude into your daily life as well. In the comment section, I would love for you all to answer any or all of these questions to help me further understand how I can help-

  1. Would you use my app? Why or why not?
  2. How can I reach a greater audience? What can I do to make this accessible to all ages/backgrounds?
  3. Is there a platform (non-profit organization or something similar) that I should look into that supports my cause?

Also, if you have any advice for me (or know a resource to help me make the actual app, haha), please let me know! Thank you so much for your time, I hope you learned something new!

Sources Cited

Ossola, Alexandra. “Today’s High Schoolers Are Way Too Stressed.” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 9 Oct. 2015,

Nyu. “NYU Study Examines Top High School Students’ Stress and Coping Mechanisms.” NYU, 11 Aug. 2015,

“The Epidemic of Anxiety Among Today’s Students.” NEA Today, 18 June 2019,

Denizet-lewis, Benoit. “Why Are More American Teenagers Than Ever Suffering From Severe Anxiety?” The New York Times, The New York Times, 11 Oct. 2017,

Monroe, Jamison. “The Power of Gratitude for Teen Mental Health.” Newport Academy, Newport Academy, 21 Nov. 2019,

Froh, Jeffrey, et al. “How to Foster Gratitude in Schools.” Greater Good,

“Student Life For American Teens and Parents.” Student Life For American Teens and Parents | The Princeton Review,

Douglas, Steven. “Best Calendar App Designs and How to Prototype Your Own.” Justinmind, 7 Mar. 2018,

Rogers, Carley. “Stress at School.” Youtube, 9 Jun. 2016,

Williams, Wayne. Simpler Gratitude Journal.

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  1. April 26, 2020 by Raag Venkat

    Paige, this is amazing work! I love that you are bringing awareness to the stress and pressure of high-achieving schools as well as implementing a plan of action. Your app is beautifully designed and the prototypes look realistic and efficient! Do you think that a website could be be beneficial as well? Great job.

    • April 26, 2020 by Paige Wheeler

      Raag, thank you very much! I focused on an app because I felt like for my demographic, an app was the most accessible. I tried to think of what I would realistically use, and that was an app. I could maybe build a website to introduce gratitude and give more information on the topic, though!

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