May 24, 2010
I hate to say it, but that "Model Minority" stereotype is based on reality sometimes. Some young Asian Americans are just darned smart, hard-working good students. Take Sunmee Huh, a 16-year-old Maryland teenager, for instance. Last year, she noticed her grandfather struggling to use a search engine, and had she an idea. She decided to build her own search engine, designed for older, tired eyes, so her grandfather could search the Web for information easily, without straining to read the text or messing with his browser to make the type larger.
She started with the most popular search engine, Google
, and used its backend programming to drive her version. She then enlisted the graphic arts help of her younger (!) sister Dahlia to make everything look nice, called the search engine Good50
In the process she made it super easy to change font size as well as background color (the black background, she explains in Good50's About Us
page, is a "high contrast" version to help people with poor vision that also happens to use less energy to display, so it's a "green" option).
"Designed with the public's health in mind, Good50 has pre-set the search box to a larger size and gives the option to adjust to a larger font in the search results," the About Us page explains. "These features of Good50 will reduce eye strain and help to prevent Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS). Some possible symptoms of CVS include headaches, dry and/or red eyes, fatigue, double vision, and neck or back pain."
Although she's reaching out for publicity top spread the word about Good50, Sunmee isn't in it for the money. She has Google ads on the search engine but refused to add the "sponsored links" that are often at the top of Google search results, figuring those ads are just confusing for Internet newbies -- and her grandfather.
And, she also pledged to donate at least 5 cents for every 50 visits to the search engine, from the Google advertising revenue she collects. In April, she made her first donation: $50 to the Red Cross for Haiti relief. In May, she sent a $100 donation to Meals on Wheels.