Maybe it’s just because I’m so inspired by my older two kids this year. They’ve been through a lot in two years, and have come through with grace, growth, and creativity.
My daughter is really adept at everything she tries and is always thinking about how we can help others, and my older son is a bit of an engineer and inventor and always has new ideas. I mean, he is a walking whirlwind of ideas!
I’m not alone in how impressed I am with today’s youth. T-Mobile is so inspired by them because today’s youth is constantly challenging the status quo and standing up for what they believe in. That’s why they’ve partnered again with Ashoka to launch the fourth Changemaker Challenge!
T-Mobile and the Exciting Changemaker Challenge:
Since today’s youth are the REAL changemakers, committed to engaging and mobilizing their big ideas to create a better tomorrow, this challenge is for them! T-Mobile and the T-Mobile Foundation are partnering with Ashoka for the fourth Changemaker Challenge, and you can apply until March 31st! They’re calling on young innovators across the United States and Puerto Rico to submit creative new solutions that help create more inclusive, equitable, and sustainable communities where everyone can thrive.
This nationwide contest will support today’s young people in creating solutions for positive change in their communities. It is very exciting because I know with my older two kids, their ideas are AMAZING, and also rooted in creativity and kindness without limits. Tweens and teens are pretty awesome at coming up with solutions to help the world. Do you have a 13-18 year old who will enter?
The Changemaker Challenge is looking for bold ideas in three categories, all prioritizing creating more connected, inclusive, and sustainable communities:
1 – Digital Empowerment – solutions that help bridge the digital divide, enabling access for all to the digital age and the skills needed to thrive in it.
2 – Equity In Action – ideas for removing barriers and creating opportunities for everyone to thrive in an inclusive society.
3 – Thriving Planet – ideas to help improve the health of our planet.
In May, T-Mobile, T-Mobile Foundation, and Ashoka will select a total of 15 teams (5 per the 3 categories), in addition to one Family Changemaker Challenge recipient. Each team behind a winning project will receive $5,000 each, as well as an all-expenses-paid trip to T-Mobile’s headquarters in Bellevue, WA for the Changemaker Lab during the last week of July, pending CDC recommendations.
And another cool thing is that all winning teams will be paired with at least one T-Mobile mentor to provide counsel and support in a chosen area of expertise. This will be both leading up to the Changemaker Lab, and after it. Furthermore, T-Mobile employee mentors will volunteer to work with their teams on everything, from legal questions to finance and marketing. They will offer a minimum of four hours of mentorship per month.
In even more exciting news, one top project from each of the three categories will receive an additional $5,000 seed funding and the opportunity to pitch their projects to senior leadership team members of T-Mobile and the T-Mobile Foundation during the Changemaker Lab.
Ashoka has over 20 years of experience supporting young people by leading social change ventures to make a global impact. They are looking for BOLD ideas. Young people can enter the Changemaker Challenge by submitting a project that drives social change in one of the three categories.
T-Mobile is the Un-carrier and they strive to be a force of GOOD for our communities. How can we all do that? By stepping up to help bring the ideas of youth changemakers to life. This program launched in 2018, and T-Mobile has invested nearly 2.5 million dollars and supported over 70 teams of youth innovators. This program has seen creative projects ranging from apps focused on gun violence prevention to affordable Tuberculosis testing kits, flood warning systems, video games targeted for individuals with autism, biodegradable camping gear, and so much more. I found out that the 2019 finalist, Ian McKenna, was selected as a TIME2020 Kid of the Year Finalist! This is a really big deal for kids!
The application window is open to teens, ages 13-18, (located in the United States and Puerto Rico) now through March 31, 2022. Do you have a young changemaker in your life? Find out more by clicking here.