BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!!!! DFA Northwestern’s Jerry the Bear team member, Aaron Horowitz has been selected among hundreds as one of this year’s Dell Social Innovation Fellows!!


The Dell-Social Innovation competition, look for students with the most innovative ideas to solve a social or environmental problem anywhere in the world.

The Semi-Finalist Fellowship is a cohort of students from around the world who have some of the most exciting and innovative ideas for social and environmental change. Developed to leverage the power of the group, their program provides students with mentorship, training and a $4,000 financial award to advance the development of their social innovation. The main goal of the fellowship is to provide fellows with the skills, networks, and experience that will help them realize the potential of your social venture.


We managed to snag a few minutes with Aaron to get his thoughts on his upcoming adventure in Providence, RI for this year’s fellowship program working on Jerry the Bear with Diabetes.

What project did you enter for DSIC?
We entered the Jerry the Bear project for the Dell Social Innovation Competition and upon becoming a semi finalist, I was invited to apply to be a DSIC fellow.

What was your role in the project?
While we all did a little bit of everything, I was the point person on the hardware inside of Jerry. I dealt with everything from the glucose meters screen to his blinking eyes.

What are you looking forward to most about attending the fellowship?
I am really looking forward to learning from all of the other fellows. Everyone has blazed such amazing trails, dealing with different challenges in their respective areas, and sharing these experiences will be invaluable.

What are you most scared or nervous about?
I am most nervous about finding people with diabetes who can test Jerry. This process will be invaluable to improving Jerry’s overall functionality and usability. So…does anyone know any diabetic children living in eastern Massachusetts?

What lesson(s) would you pass on to the next generation of DFAers?
During the DSIC awards ceremony, speaker Sonal Shah said something that I found truly inspirational and relevant to our project, “Don’t let the barriers you see define what you do.” At the beginning of this year no one on our team knew anything about robotics, yet we didn’t let that alter our vision for Jerry. Instead, we set out to gain the necessary knowledge to complete our initial design. I think that this mentality is essential for both experiential learning and project success. 

Learn more about Aaron