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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – High school juniors and seniors across Miami-Dade County are being called upon to deliver fresh ideas and innovation to solve some of the world’s biggest problems.

Helping the world become a better place won’t be the only reward for these young adults.

“It is about finding practical solutions to problems that our society is currently facing,” said Miami-Dade Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho.

On Thursday, Carvalho announced a new program called the Superintendent’s Innovation Challenge.

They’ll tackle everything from global warming to sea level rise, the toxic algae bloom and more.

“In [the year] 2030, 95% of the coral reefs are like at the verge of bleaching specifically so it’s a very major issue that we have to impact and we have to impact it now,” said Bianca Vucetich.

Vucetich is taking on the challenge with her passion for the environment in mind, and saving coral reefs, but students will tackle everything from global warming and sea level rise, to the toxic algae bloom.

“We’ll be in charge of this country we call our home so I feel it’s incredibly important that we take matters into our own hands,” said Javier Pujols.

Carvahlo used money from his award for the Urban Superintendent of the Year and was able to get matching funds from other businesses to get $60,000, with each student winner to receive a $10,000 scholarship.

Carvahlo brought up the college bribery scandal, where wealthy and sometimes famous parents allegedly tried to buy their child’s way in to prestigious colleges.

“This is the antithesis of that,” he said. “We are demonstrating that merit matters in Miami.”

Innovation challenge applications can be submitted online at challenge.dadeschools.net.

Rielle Creighton

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