The University of Maryland School of Public Policy’s Do Good Institute (DGI) recently awarded student groups seed funding in preparation for next year’s Do Good Challenge. The Do Good Challenge encourages student engagement and innovation in philanthropy as groups compete against to raise funds to maximize their social impact. Seed funds were granted to promising groups whose proposals were judged by individuals from the Do Good Challenge Committee; Leadership and Community Service-Learning Office; Office of Sustainability; Department of Fraternity and Sorority Life; School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation; and Robert H. Smith School of Business. In the past, seed fund award winners have had huge successes in the Do Good Challenge and beyond, including Terps Against Hunger, Hungry Harvest and Students Helping Honduras.
Out of fifty applicants, thirty-four teams were granted seed funding. This award included $500 in initial funding as well as personalized guidance from an experienced mentor and support from a community devoted to philanthropy and service. The teams receiving seed funding are helmed by undergraduate and graduate students representing numerous colleges and schools across the University of Maryland, including the School of Public Policy; Robert H. Smith School of Business; A. James Clark School of Engineering; College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences; College of Arts and Humanities; School of Public Health; College of Education; and College of Behavioral and Social Sciences.
The groups awarded seed funding represent a wide range of interests and hope to make a difference on local, national and international levels. Some groups have a more domestic focus, like Help Girls Thrive, which aims to partner with local schools to develop programs that encourage girls to lead. They will use seed money to purchase “Find Your Drive” teaching toolkits. College Mentors for Kids also targets local communities with hopes of encouraging the pursuit of higher education for students at Title I schools by partnering students with college mentors. With the seed funding, they hope to subsidize transportation costs for students and support more on-campus activities for visiting students.
Some groups decided to think globally, while acting locally, like GlobeShare and its approach to environmentalism. By leveraging the power of technology and mobile apps, GlobeShare encourages communities to track and share their environmental projects through an app, enabling communities to measure their green contributions and the environmental impact of their programs. Their seed fund money will go toward developing this app.
The Voice: Juvenile Justice was one of several seed fund award winners that is committed to social justice issues. Using profits from the sale of poetry books, The Voice hopes to fund scholarships for formerly incarcerated youth, facilitating a more successful reintegration into the community and helping them build a solid foundation for transitioning into adulthood. Seed funds will go toward printing the poetry books.
No Lost Generation champions the timely cause of refugee resettlement and the group is dedicated to expanding the educational opportunities given to refugee communities. Using seed funding, the group has ambitious plans to raise awareness about refugee communities through on campus symposiums and public displays. No Lost Generation also hopes to use seed money to fund a scholarship for refugees.
These teams and many more will compete in the upcoming 2017 Do Good Challenge this spring.