Forty-four student teams applied for funding through the Spring 2018 Do Good Mini-Grant program to help with the development and implementation of their student-led, student-run proposals which aim to create a positive social impact for a social issue or cause. Applicants ranged in issue area from clean energy solutions to sexual assualt, from education equity to dental health access and so much more.
The Do Good Institute granted funds to 15 teams, with teams each receiving up to $500. In addition to funding, teams will receive coaching and support from the Do Good Accelerator & the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship.
The Spring 2018 Mini-Grant awardees include:
- AIM at Melanoma Foundation: UMD Student Chapter ($400) engages the campus and community by coordinating AIM for the CURE Melanoma Walks & Fun Runs to increase awareness and educate the public about the disease and to raise funds to support research for the cure. The organization aims to host a research symposium for melanoma patients, their families, and the public to raise awareness about the disease and the recent advancements in treatments for melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. This symposium will be at the Johns Hopkins Hospital supported by several medical oncologists and dermatologists.
- Algal Turf Scrubber (ATS) – American Ecological Engineering Society ($500) plans to be the first ecological engineered technology implemented on University of Maryland’s campus to filter out storm water runoff pollutants and provide hands on research experience. Algae, the byproduct of ATS, can be collected and repurposed (e.g. algae fertilizer and algae concrete). The first ATS will be installed in front of the Terrapin Trail Garage bioretention pond by XFINITY Center at University of Maryland, College Park.
- Camp Kesem at University of Maryland ($500) aims to support children whose parents have cancer through and beyond their parent’s cancer treatment. The group is planning to host aweek-long summer camp for children and create a community of individuals that can relate to each other about the struggles they are going through when dealing with cancer in their families. By offering innovative, fun-filled programs that foster a lasting community, Camp Kaseem at University of Maryland aims to ensure that every child impacted by a parent’s cancer is never alone.
- Engineering World Health – Wheelchair Innovation and Repair Project ($300) seeks to improve the quality of health care for people who need and use wheelchairs in Uganda. By increasing the accessibility to wheelchairs, the organization strives to liberate people with disabilities and empower them to participate in more opportunities as well as in development and social endeavors. The Engineering World Health chapter at UMD will collect wheelchairs from local hospital and rehabilitation centers, fix them, redesign them (to equip them for rural terrains), and then ship them to Uganda. The group plans to test the first prototype of a redesigned wheel chair in the spring 2018 semester in collaboration with University of Makerere in Uganda.
- EZ Farms (City to Table: Efficient Indoor Hydroponics) ($500) plans to use hydroponic technology combined with clean energy solutions to grow healthy and organic crops for communities that lack these resources. The group is using a vertical growing system and network of sensors to monitor everything about crop development from room temperature to the growth stage of the plants.The team has begun to implement a prototypical hydroponics system composed of five unique crops: lettuce, spinach, basil, parsley, and tomatoes. They plan to expand their operations and continue growing more varieties of sustainable and organic crops.
- Flush X ($500) aims to redefine the way automatic toilet flushing works. Flush X plans to reduce the the water consumption of the University of Maryland by 15 percent by installing a new toilet flush sensing mechanism that eliminates empty flushes. The invention is an augmented version of the traditional stall door slider that includes a contact sensor and signal emitter capable of detecting when a stall lock is unlocked. Once the action of the stall door unlocking is detected, the signal emitter then sends a message to the toilet, causing it to flush. The group plans to implement the pilot in the spring 2018 semester in Adele H. Stamp Student Union at University of Maryland.
- Her Truth ($300) provides young women of color who are interested in creative writing a collaborative community in which students will focus on the perspectives of underrepresented writers in order to facilitate reflection on personal identities and encourage them to use their voices to tell their own stories. The group aims to achieve these goals by providing tools that are not easily accessible through traditional secondary education: a network of professional women who share similar experiences, a curriculum that focuses on literary works and other discourse by minorities, a collaborative safe space that facilitates creativity without restriction, and an opportunity to have their work published in a collective anthology. The group plans to pilot the curriculum with ninth grade female students from the College Success Foundation during spring 2018 semester.
- Miles for Smiles ($500) is a student organization at University of Maryland that raises funds to provide better dental services to families in underprivileged areas of Honduras. The organization's volunteers travel to Honduras every winter to set up mobile clinics in rural villages to assist dental professionals in providing appropriate treatments and to provide oral hygiene workshops to children. This year, Miles for Smiles is hosting a Miles for Smiles 5K that symbolizes the hours of walking that patients in Honduras travel to receive basic dental care. All of the funds raised will be used to buy dental technologies that will help increase the quality of care the patients receive.
- No Taboo. Period. ($500) is a student organization at University of Maryland working to reverse the stigma surrounding feminine hygiene products while also helping the local homeless community. The organization sends pads, tampons, and other feminine hygiene products to impoverished women, through campus-wide donations. This year the organization is planning to host an Open Mic night and another campus-wide donation drive for feminine hygiene products. The Open Mic night aims to promote the idea and concept of menstruation awareness. The feminine hygiene products collected will be donated to Thrive DC-Columbia Heights, an organization providing shelter and basic necessities to homeless women.
- Preventing Sexual Assault (PSA) ($500) aims to prevent sexual assault at the University of Maryland through education, awareness, and advocacy for survivors and aims to improve the university’s reporting process. Throughout the year, PSA hosts various events, fundraising activities, and awareness campaigns, which culminate in a 12-hour Occupy McKeldinevent, that focuses on educating students, promoting advocacy, as well as providing survivors an outlet to heal amongst the support of the campus community.
- Public Health Without Borders – Sierra Lone Project ($500) aims to provide sustainable health education to primary school-aged children in a local community in Sierra Lone. The project focuses on first aid, nutrition, prevention of infectious diseases, oral hygiene, hand washing, and oral rehydration therapy for diarrheal diseases. The group will travel on its fourth visit in June 2018 to a community in Sierra Lone to teach students, parents and adults in the local community about oral hygiene, nutrition and water safety through workshops and health education demonstrations. In addition, a needs assessment will be conducted to identify additional priority health concerns among community members, as well as assess past interventions.
- The SAWS Field Trip – Students for the Advancement of Women in Science ($500) aims to provide under-privileged middle school girls with the opportunity to explore scientific concepts outside of the classroom in places they would not be able to see otherwise. Students will be provided a fully funded trip to the Smithsonian or similar museums and provided an experiential learning opportunity. The group is specifically focusing on the Air and Space museum to teach young girls more about space and aerodynamics.
- Science Enrichment After School ($300) inspires interest and curiosity in science among local elementary schoolers. The group teaches 4th and 5th graders about science twice a week through fun, interactive activities and experiments. These science lessons supplement the students' in-class scientific education. Additionally, students have the opportunities to form meaningful mentoring relationships with the volunteers. The organization plans to expand its operations and create more hand-on interactive activities for students.
- Students Ending Slavery ($500) is hosting a 5K fundraiser on the University of Maryland campus to raise awareness about human trafficking and international refugee issues through a cross-campus fun run. As students and participants complete the run, there will be stations for them to learn about human trafficking dotted around the campus at University of Maryland. Students Ending Slavery will donate a portion of the proceeds to the University of Maryland SAFE Center to support local survivors of human trafficking.
- Tommy WARES ($500) is an ethical apparel company that works with independent artists to fund social impact investment projects. Tommy WARES provides ethically made shirts as a revenue stream for nonprofit organizations to raise money to further their operations at no up-front cost. This year Tommy WARES will focus on expanding its operations and providing this innovative fundraising opportunity to conservancy groups in Maryland.