Things you can do as a volunteer and how to become one
For years I have thought about trying to volunteer more than I do right now. I do give time every year but I give it in huge waves (like the PTA Silent Auction) and...
This T-Mobile Celebrate Young Innovators with the Changemaker Challenge post is sponsored by T-Mobile.
We are fairly new to T-Mobile but of course, I know that they've always been a changemaker in the wireless industry with their Un-carrier mantra. I have been watching T-Mobile for years and I have always enjoyed the way that they give back to the community. The company has been investing in ideas to disrupt the status quo in telecommunications and they’ve been extending that philosophy in other areas as well. For the third year, T-Mobile is asking students to help find solutions to urgent societal and global challenges by offering 13-18 year olds a chance to win up to $15K in seed funding and mentorship through their Changemaker program.
Speaking of societal challenges, I am pretty proud of my kids and the things they have done during this pandemic (and even before) to make the world a better place. My three kids have been changemakers and enterprising since I can remember. My son started the most amazing mental health text chain designed to cheer people up and to let them know that they have friends thinking about them. He was struggling himself with not seeing friends every day and not getting out of the house much. So, every day when he wakes up BEFORE getting out of bed he texts three people (friends, relatives, teachers), tells them why they are important to him, what he likes about them, and asks them to do the same thing with three different people. He started this text chain that began with 4-5 friends and now hundreds of people have been the recipient of such positivity. I have received phone calls, texts, and emails about how unexpected his messages are and how much they brighten someone's day.
My middle child discovered in 3rd grade that many of the kids in her school were using grocery bags instead of backpacks. These families couldn't afford backpacks but she just knew she could help. Annabella organized and launched an organization that collects used backpacks. The first year, we collected over 60 backpacks, cleaned them all thoroughly, made small repairs as needed, and then distributed them throughout her school to kids in need.
What connected me to this partnership to T-Mobile is that the company 100% recognizes that today's youth are the changemakers of tomorrow!!! In fact, they know that America’s youth are up to the challenge to put fresh thinking behind big problems and come up with big ideas that will drive change. Many innovations and innovative ideas simply need funds or mentorship in order to grow into something extraordinary. This year, T-Mobile is looking for kids 13-18 who have game changing ideas to create more connected, sustainable, and inclusive communities. This is the T-Mobile Changemaker Challenge.
The T-Mobile Changemaker Challenge is a nationwide contest for youth ages 13 to 18 to share innovative ideas around creating connected, sustainable and informed communities the opportunity to receive seed funding. T-Mobile’s two previous Changemaker Challenges were hugely successful (428 teams entered in 2019) which is why I am so excited to partner with them this year. Ideas and projects have ranged from apps through robots to political advocacy groups and ventures that offered solutions around topics ranging from mental health through bee colony collapse to flood warning systems and gun violence prevention.
The T-Mobile Foundation is once again partnering with Ashoka (an org. with 20+ years supporting youth social change ventures) and they are looking for ideas – big or small – that drive social change in these categories:
Each of the top 15 teams receives $5k seed funding from the T-Mobile Foundation, three teams (one from each category) will receive an additional $5k and the chance to pitch their idea to T-Mobile executives AND one Grand-Prize-Winning team will be announced during the lab and will win an additional $5k ($15k total) and 1:1 mentorship to help supercharge their project. Teams can receive other prizes and mentorship to grow their ventures as well.
Youth can enter the Challenge at the Changemaker Challenge contest website now through April 8.
In May, the top 15 teams – five from each of the three categories (Technology, the Environment, and Education) will be invited to T-Mobile HQ in July (TBC pending CDC recommendations) for a three-day Changemaker Lab. T-Mobile will also share the news publicly and on social media.
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