Louisville, Ky.--Wednesday was an early morning at the Muhammad Ali Center for the 18 high schools participating in the Aspen Challenge but  the energy was overwhelming.

"As we group we learned that it can sometimes be difficult to work with others but whenever you’re working towards a common goal it makes it a lot easier, Megan Jacobs said. 

Fairdale High School Students set out to raise awareness and create solutions to reduce the amount of air pollution and emissions in our city.

"We live a few minutes away from the landfill, it's literally right down the street and this creates a lot of emissions to the environment around us and actually can make it hard to live," Jacobs said.

The group shared with Spectrum News 1 this can take 11 years off of your life.

Their three pronged approach included education, media, and tree planting.

"I come from Africa and we spend most of our time outside and staying inside really isn't our thing so going outside is really important to us but if we can't go outside then we won't be able to do the things we love," Patricia Loka said. 

The Aspen Challenge provides inspiration and a platform for young people to design solutions to the some of the most critical and complex problems we face as a society.

A group from J. Graham High School unpacked the topic of immigration but they added their own twist.

"We kind of started narrowing it down and decided that we really want to focus on immigrant friendly businesses because you see like the pride flag hanging in businesses and that's kind a sign that it's LGBT friendly so we were kind of like what if there is something like that for immigrants?," Leigh Henry said.

"There was a law firm a couple weeks ago that emailed us and they said we represent a lot of immigrants but we'd still like to be more immigrant friendly. I thought that was really cool because you wouldn't think a law firm that represents immigrants would want to become more immigrant friendly but I guess there is always a chance grow," Maya Anderson said. 

And in this case some of the groups will get a chance to travel to present their work in Aspen in June.

It was nail biter but the groups that won include DuPont Manual High School, Central High School Magnet Career Academy, and Jeffersontown High School.  Teams from all three schools travel to Aspen, Colorado June 25 through 30 to prevent their solutions.

In addition to Louisville, Dallas, Texas was the second city participating in this year's Aspen Challenge.