Despite increased methods to communicate, Highland Park High School (HPHS) Senior Hannah Frazer believes that authentic human connection is at an all-time low, prompting her to create a nonprofit geared toward getting the conversation going.
Two years ago, Frazer founded Question Connection a 501(c)(3) that she hopes will help reduce feelings of isolation and incidents of bullying, as well as improve interpersonal communication skills and create more meaningful relationships.
Day in and day out Frazer witnessed students flocking to the cafeteria, sitting with the same peer groups, and making more effort to check their Instagram than talk to one another. She also observed students who lacked a friend niche who found comfort from a sterile iPhone rather than remaining open to the world around them.
“I started to wonder how this lack of true human connection was impacting overall happiness. This gave me the idea that turned into Question Connection—a card game designed to spark real conversation with a series of get-to-know-you types of questions,” Frazer explains.
When she presented her concept to the District 112 school board, they shared some of their findings of increased incidences of teen anxiety and depression and how technology misuse may be part of the problem. Frazer felt she had to do something and sought out an independent study with HPHS psychology teacher, Chris Kean. Under his guidance, she worked on the beginning stages of Question Connection. Frazer developed a series of conversation starter prompts, including, “If elected to office, the first law I would enact or change would be . . . ,” and “The most surprising thing about me is . . . .” Frazer also added an advanced section, motivating players to step a bit further outside of their comfort zone, by challenging participants to make up a funny dance or tell a silly joke.
As Question Connection took flight, Frazer had cards professionally printed and took her product to market. She began visiting local middle schools and Boys & Girls Clubs where more kids embraced the concept, choosing face-to-face conversation over social media while in her presence.
Frazer is taking the concept international. Question Connection is now available in Spain, Columbia, China, and Korea. While the games have already been translated into Spanish, Chinese, and Korean, Frazer plans to have the cards translated into Hebrew as well. As Frazer looks forward to college, she is eager to take Question Connection to the next level. Having come this far, she knows that the word impossible is not in her vocabulary.
For more information, visit questionconnection.com.