2021 Case Competition Winners

Meet the winners of the 2021 UNA-USA and UNICEF USA Case Competition. More information about the prompt and process can be found here.

To learn more about these topics, register for UNA-USA’s 2022 Global Engagement Summit.


College Level Winner – Vanderbilt University

OCSE Crimes and COVID-19: An AI Solution

As firmly established in the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, there is an international effort to put an end to child sexual abuse and violence, which have been exacerbated in many ways by the COVID-19 pandemic. The team presented a solution in the form of a natural language processing technology, a powerful tool to detect predatory conversations long before online child sexual exploitation (OCSE) has been effected, alert the victim, and flag (or shut down) the online conversation for the forum’s moderator. See their full presentation here.

Team members include:

Ellie Hooey is a senior Human Organizational Development and Communication Studies double major at Vanderbilt. Outside of the classroom, she is station manager and host for VandyRadio and volunteers with University Catholic. In her free time, Ellie loves to stay active with CrossFit and yoga.


Reagan Werner is a senior at Vanderbilt University from Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. Majoring in economics, she plans to work in portfolio strategy at Wells Fargo after graduation. She is a member of Vanderbilt’s debate team, running club, and annual dance marathon fundraiser. 


Sojo Rouco-Crenshaw is a junior at Vanderbilt University from Birmingham, Alabama. She studies Molecular and Cellular Biology and Spanish. She is a member of the Vanderbilt Debate Team. She also enjoys participating in Vanderbilt Student Volunteers for Science and AMIGOS (a Spanish language volunteer organization), as well as working as a research assistant at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. 


Zacarias Negron is a Freshman at Vanderbilt University where he studies Political Science (with a concentration in International Studies) and Law, History, & Society. He serves on the Vanderbilt Debate team and is an active member within the Vanderbilt socio-political community. He is passionate about peace-building and reconciliation studies in particularly fractured cultural conflicts.


High School Level Winner – Jupiter High School

Aeroponics Combating Malnutrition

World hunger has been a persistent problem worldwide. The introduction of COVID-19 has heightened the concern, notably for children. This team proposed the use of aeroponics agricultural systems to address world hunger. Aeroponics uses zero soil and only a small amount of water to grow plants and produce food three times faster than standard agricultural methods. These systems can reduce water usage by 98 percent, fertilizer usage by 60 percent, and pesticide usage by 100 percent while maximizing crop yields. Because of COVID-related issues, many food donation resources for children in South Sudan are no longer running. Aeroponics is the perfect solution. Since hydroponic towers can easily be installed in small communities or gardens, individuals or small groups can grow their food through these systems and be equipped with a sufficient food supply for a more extended period. View the full presentation here.

Team members include:

Ragini Aggarwal is an 11th grade student from Jupiter, Florida. She plays the upright bass and this is her first year as a member of UNA-USA. She is passionate about responsible consumption and production, climate action, and zero hunger. 



Rutvi Patel is an 11th grade student at Jupiter High School in Jupiter, Florida. She is a part of the medical academy at her school and serves as the President of her school’s UNA-USA Chapter. Rutvi is passionate about humanitarian issues, helping others who are in need, and combating world hunger.


Yashvi Purohit is a junior at Jupiter High School. She is the founder and president of Dance Outreach, co-founder and advocacy chair of the Future Leaders of the UN, and secretary of HOSA; additionally, she is a black belt in Isshinryu Karate, an active Girl Scout Ambassador, and a Professional Indian Classical Dancer while excelling in academics. She hopes to become a doctor and serve her community through medicine.