Last updated: August 24. 2013 2:25AM - 231 Views

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LIMA ‚?? While her classmates will leave high school with a diploma and completed senior project, Jaywanna Hubbard will also leave with not just one, but two patents on products she helped create.

The Lima Senior High School senior has come up with the idea of placing a small tab in clothing with the color of each piece written in braille to assist blind people when getting dressed.

‚??This gives them a chance to pick out what they wear,‚?Ě she said. ‚??They can match their clothes themselves and not need other people to help them.‚?Ě

The idea was part of her required senior project and a desire for Hubbard to help people with disabilities. Her older sister has cerebral palsy, is deaf and autistic.

‚??She has had a big impact on me,‚?Ě Hubbard said. ‚??People often shy away from handicapped people. Growing up with my sister showed me a lot. They are more than what people think.‚?Ě

While working with her senior project mentor, Alvita Crisp, the two came up with an idea of designing more fashionable clothing for patients in hospitals and nursing homes. Crisp brought it up because she knew Hubbard likes to draw and is creative.

Hubbard‚??s idea calls for dresses, shirts, jeans and other typical clothing that also allows access to medical staff and procedures. She was inspired by a time her grandmother was in the hospital and complained of the typical gowns.

‚??They look depressing,‚?Ě she said. ‚??People want to look nice even if they are sick.‚?Ě

Now that Hubbard and Crisp have patents, they are setting up meetings to pitch their ideas to sellers. They will travel in New York in the next few months. The idea of the products possibly one day being sold amazes Hubbard.

‚??At first I did not think about it,‚?Ě she said. ‚??Then I presented my senior project and people made a big deal about it. People said, ‚??You might get rich.‚?? I am excited. I never thought of anything like this.‚?Ě

Hubbard is in Lima Senior‚??s DECA marketing club and landed in the top 10 at the state competition. She took a project she did with the school‚??s multi-handicapped class. Students run an in-school restaurant called Progressive Pantry and Hubbard taught them how to better market it.

Hubbard also works with a pupil at Independence Elementary School through Big Brothers Big Sisters and is in the school‚??s Youth In Government program. Students created a bill that would make teenagers responsible for court costs instead of parents. They took the bill to Columbus, where it passed through committee and failed by just three votes in the Ohio House.

Hubbard will be back in Columbus this week for Ohio Arts Day. She is part of an arts advocacy group that will lobby legislators to continue to support arts education. The group recently met with state Rep. Matt Huffman.

‚??We want to let representatives know that if they cut things for schools, it hurts students,‚?Ě said Hubbard, who likes working with acrylics and portraits. ‚??The arts help a lot of students deal with school.‚?Ě

Hubbard is president of the junior ushers at Victory Christian Center. She maintains a 3.0 GPA while working two jobs. She was a recent recipient of OSU-Lima‚??s DREAM (Dare to Reach Excellence, Achievement and Meaning) program scholarship and will be the first in her family to go to college.

Hubbard will study marketing with her sights set on working for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Lima Senior‚??s DECA members spent a day two years ago with the team‚??s marketing people. Hubbard also has other clothing accessory ideas for people with disabilities she would like to pursue.

‚??Most people don‚??t think about people with disabilities,‚?Ě she said. ‚??More people should focus on them because they need more help than we do.‚?Ě

Jaywanna Hubbard
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