Presented in partnership with T-Mobile
T-Mobile is all about BIG ideas and squashing the status quo, so it’s no surprise that the Un-carrier is all about supporting the next generation as they create programs that positively impact the community. For those of you who haven’t already been following along – T-Mobile, the T-Mobile Foundation and Ashoka launched the second annual Changemaker Challenge Contest back in summer 2019, receiving nearly 450 submissions from youth with world-changing ideas. In the end, 30 teams were chosen to come to T-Mobile’s HQ in Bellevue, Washington for an immersive lab experience – where each team received mentorship, advice and at least $2,000 in seed funding to put toward their program.
We previously reported that T-Mobile would award the Grand Prize Winner with $10,000 total in seed funding, but leave it to the Un-carrier to go above and beyond expectations. After narrowing down to three category winners who pitched their ideas to T-Mobile senior leaders to compete for the Grand Prize — T-Mobile announced a winner…well, THREE winners, because, c’mon, when is one ever enough?
Following some deliberation among T-Mobile’s Senior Leadership team, including the President/COO and incoming CEO, Mike Sievert – they decided that all three category winners deserve the grand prize – and each team is receiving $10,000 in seed funding!
Take a look at the winning programs:
- Ava: A Video Game About Space Pirates and Social Situations (Pomona, CA). A role-playing video game that gives neurodiverse players a safe space to try out social situations and emotional responses
- Youth Climate Action Coalition (Granite Bay, CA). A youth-led environmental organization mitigating the effects of climate change by reducing the carbon footprint of schools and communities
- Stories Untold U.S. (Parkland, FL). A platform to give voice to those who have been affected by gun violence
In addition to $10,000 seed funding for each of these teams, T-Mobile has gone one step further to make sure these programs are set up for success. They have promised grand prize winners a return trip back to T-Mobile HQ to provide additional hands on mentorship from T-Mobile’s senior leaders to help supercharge their ideas. This extra level of support and strategic counsel will also be personalized to individual projects. Whatever winning teams need the most help with, whether it be sprucing up their social media game, top notch software development or marketing strategy to share their story far and wide – T-Mobile will have them covered. Let’s just say, this isn’t the last time you’ll be hearing about these winning teams.
Here’s what T-Mobile President and COO Mike Sievert had to say following the grand prize winners being named.
“The Changemaker Challenge Lab is always one of THE most inspirational weeks at T-Mobile and this year did NOT disappoint — I was blown away! These young people have proven to me yet again that they have incredible stories and ideas and are willing to take big risks to drive positive, long-term change in their communities,” said Mike Sievert, T-Mobile President and COO. “We were incredibly inspired by what we heard and look forward to rolling up our sleeves alongside these teams to help them amplify their impact. This is just the beginning of their amazing journeys!”
Congratulations to all the finalists and to the three grand prize winners – we can’t wait to continue to see how your programs change the world. And, thank you to T-Mobile and Ashoka for giving youth the resources to make our world a better place. Youth are our future, after all!
To continue to follow T-Mobile’s Changemaker Challenge, visit: t-mobile.com/changemaker. Hear more about one of the other winning teams, Future Kings Mentoring, on their experience attending the lab. Or join the conversation on social media by searching the hashtag #TMOChangemaker.
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