Treasure Valley teen invents tool to help people with disabilities

Burback Medical Towel
Posted at 6:00 AM, Jul 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-06 12:11:39-04
A Treasure Valley high school student is inspired to make a difference. She came up with a product to help people with disabilities become more independent.
"No one really wants to be taken care of by someone else, you want to kind of do it yourself," said Danica Burback, an incoming sophomore at Rocky Mountain High School. 
Danica Burback is only 15, but that doesn't mean she's too young to help others. 
"It makes me feel good, like something that I created is actually helping other people you know," said Burback. 
With the help of teachers and volunteers from the Young Entrepreneurs Academy, she was able to come up with a product that truly has that potential. 
"We came up with 200, over 200 ideas out of a class of 29 and then we took them through a process where they whiddled those down to something that they thought they could do in the time frame," said Rick Ritter, owner of New Ventures Lab, Meridian. 
Danica's aunt who has Parkinson's, was her inspiration. Her product allows people like her aunt to more easily grip a towel. 
"You can just slide your hands into the straps like that. People either like to use it like this or like this and you just take it and you can dry off anywhere like that," said Burback. 
It's called the Burback Medical Towel. Danica went to a local seamstress to get advice on what materials to use for a prototype. She even gained funds from an investor panel. 
"We pitched our businesses to them and they went and decided who they wanted to give startup funds to and there was 19 businesses and only nine got funded and I won the investor panel," said Burback. 
She was able to compete for the Saunders Scholarship at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Her business is even registered in the state of Idaho. 
And as for Danica's future, she still wants to stay in the business of helping people. 
"I think that would be really fun to go into business but, I kind of want to go into the medical field, like be a paramedic or a first responder in like different countries or something," said Burback.  
You can catch Danica with her medical towel at the Meridian Youth Farmer's Market in the Meridian City Hall Plaza on Saturdays from nine to noon. 
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