RANCHO PALOS VERDES (CBSLA.com) — A young entrepreneur is being honored Tuesday in Beverly Hills for finding a new way to protect women against sexual assault.
Crystal Sanchez, 18, created the Guardian Locket, a unique safeguard worn around a woman's neck disguised as a piece of jewelry.
"We live in a world where 1 out of 3 women has a chance at being sexually assaulted.
"These numbers are insanely high. Yet, we just live out our daily lives and most of us don't do anything about it," said Sanchez, who focused on sexual assault against women in writing her senior thesis.
The locket uses a cellular chip to alert loved ones and the police that the wearer is being attacked through a discrete button on the back of the locket.
"When you click it once, it'll send you a false phone call to ward off any predators that may be lurking around," she explained. "With another two clicks, it'll send your current location to the local authorities and whoever else you have listed on the app."
Sanchez came up with the invention as a student at Environmental Charter School in Lawndale.
"I thought it was perfect," said Sanchez's economics teacher.
Sanchez won the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship or NFTE Regional Youth Challenge, beating out fellow high school inventors from across Los Angeles.
She will be honored Tuesday night at the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year gala.
She will be the youngest entrepreneur in attendance.
"Seeing everyone around me support me and believe in my dream, it's just ... it's incredible," she said.
Sanchez is now focused on raising investment capital to fund the launch of the Guardian Locket.
She hopes to have a working locket by the end of the summer so she can compete in the national competition in the fall, where she'll have a chance to win a $25,000 prize.
Sanchez is also the first in her family to go to college and is headed to U.C. Irvine in the fall.
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