Students Changing the Future — Just InTime: How two juniors created a watch business to fight world poverty

Erin Antoch | Staff Writer

Striving for a better future is not a new concept by any means––it would actually be considered by most to be a value on which this nation was founded. However, many college students often get stuck in a “someday” manner of thinking: “Someday, after I graduate, I’m going to fix this problem”; or “I can’t wait until I get a job someday and have a lot of money so I can finally help people.” Unfortunately, we tend to put off our “somedays” until they dwindle into “nevers” and our “could haves” fade to “should haves.”

However, our generation is now realizing that there doesn’t have to be an intermission between now and “someday,” and young men and women everywhere are changing the world today: from teenage innovators saving the environment to leaders in their twenties inspiring mass social change, stories of young visionaries changing the world is spreading — and now, those stories are originating from Azusa Pacific University.

Juniors Luke Irving and Sam Carleton are recognized around campus as the comedic duo of Smith Hall Resident Advisors. In the business program, however, the two 20-year-olds are known as viable candidates in APU’s business startup course and competition, Zuventurez. Irving, a double-major in communications and marketing, and Carleton, a junior communications major and marketing minor, teamed up to do their part in the fight against poverty.

img_3904“I come from a family of medical missionaries, so I’ve spent years on medical missions,” Irving said. “I’ve experienced a lot of poverty in hospitals. There are clinics all around the world that have a spot in which to treat, but they can only afford to bring in a doctor maybe once a week so they end up turning people away—and because of that there’s lots of illness, lots of sickness, lots of death.”

According to a study by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, there are 57 countries with a critical shortage of healthcare workers, a deficit of 2.4 million doctors and nurses. Africa has 2.3 healthcare workers per 1000 population, compared with the Americas, in which there are 24.8 healthcare workers per 1000 population. Only 1.3 percent of the world’s health workers care for people who experience 25 percent of the global disease burden.

It comes as no surprise that the lack of financial resources is one of the leading explanations for these inequalities—something Irving and Carleton aim to help with the development of their new company and product idea, INTIME.  The company designs, crafts and sells wristwatches in various styles, and then donates a significant portion of the profits to a hospital in a developing country of the customer’s choosing.

“We want to bring resources in for these hospitals,” Carleton said. “We developed the idea for the watch because we live in such a time-oriented society. Everything we do is based around a clock, so now can we take this time-focused reality and use it for something that supports another culture.”

The design was meticulously thought out by the duo. Combining a trend that is not only on an upward growth pattern but also remains gender-inclusive, INTIME fuses style with substance by using leather wristbands and multiple color schemes. The watch faces depict a map of the country that the customer’s benefited hospital resides.

While many Americans are counting the minutes of each day to ensure they stay on top of their busy schedules, there are millions of people around the world who are counting the minutes until their impoverished situation strikes a fatal blow.

“What we wanted to capitalize on in our time-dependent culture is that when you check the time, you re-orient yourself,” Carleton said. “If you’re late you move faster to fit your schedule. In the same sense, when you look down at your INTIME watch, you re-orient yourself, too—not necessarily in regards to time, but in regards to running out of time. How can we get resources to these people in time?”

The INTIME team’s method of evoking a response—by juxtaposing our necessity of schedule to the necessity of aid to those suffering—is a simple yet deeply moving concept. Both Irving and Carleton have experience encountering other cultures that could potentially benefit from their product, in Mexico and Ecuador respectively. img_3902

INTIME sells their watches for a conservative 45 dollars, 80 percent of which goes to funding the hospital of your choice, and the remaining 20 percent of which goes directly back into the company. “We are not looking for a huge profit ourselves,” Irving said. We want to support the hospitals and see people receiving the medical care that they need in time.”

INTIME’s “someday” is today, and with its arrival comes a tangible reminder to our own student body that nobody is too young to change the world, and there’s no time like the present to lend a helping hand.

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